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!
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
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
Recent Examples of vitiate from the Web
Regrettably, whatever force Mr. McElheny’s pavilions have is vitiated by the park’s neurosis about the grass.
Although Gansmann essentially vitiated the childhood of a 6-year-old, expression of sympathy to a survivor, decades after the fact, is philosophical and abstract, though well-intentioned.
The fact that the three bullets that struck Hernandez were fired from the driver’s side of the car does not alter any of my conclusions and does not vitiate the legal justifications of acting in self-defense or defense of another.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'vitiate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
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: 1534See Words from the same year
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
What made you want to look up vitiate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).