Definition of vitiate
1 : to make faulty or defective : impair the comic impact is vitiated by obvious haste — William Styron
2 : to debase in moral or aesthetic status a mind vitiated by prejudice
3 : to make ineffective fraud vitiates a contract
vitiationplay \ˌvi-shē-ˈā-shən\ noun
vitiatorplay \ˈvi-shē-ˌā-tər\ noun
vitiate was our Word of the Day on 10/10/2009. Hear the podcast!
Examples of vitiate in a sentence
The impact of the film was vitiated by poor acting.
believed that luxury vitiates even the most principled person
Did You Know?
Here's one for word puzzle lovers - and anyone else allured by alliteration. The sentence "Vivian vituperated the vicious villain for valuing vice over virtue" contains three words that derive from the same Latin source as "vitiate." Can you identify all three? If you picked "vituperate" (a verb meaning "to scold"), "vicious," and "vice," your puzzle prowess is beyond reproach. Like "vitiate," all three descend from the Latin noun vitium, meaning "fault" or "vice."
Origin and Etymology of vitiate
Latin vitiatus, past participle of vitiare, from vitium fault, vice
First Known Use: 1534
Synonym Discussion of vitiate
VITIATE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of vitiate for English Language Learners
: to make (something) less effective : to ruin or spoil (something)
Legal Definition of vitiate
: to make ineffective fraud vitiates a contract
Seen and Heard
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