Definition of vicarious
- a vicarious thrill
- vicarious authority
- a vicarious sacrifice
- vicarious menstruation manifested by bleeding from the nose
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These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'vicarious.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
If you act in someone’s stead, you take his or her place, at least temporarily. The oldest meaning of "vicarious," which was first recorded in 1637, is "serving in someone or something’s stead." The word vicarious derives from the Latin noun vicis, which means "change," "alternation," or "stead." "Vicis" is also the source of the English prefix vice- (as in "vice president"), meaning "one that takes the place of."
: experienced or felt by watching, hearing about, or reading about someone else rather than by doing something yourself
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