Definition of vitiate
- the comic impact is vitiated by obvious haste
- —William Styron
- a mind vitiated by prejudice
- fraud vitiates a contract
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The impact of the film was vitiated by poor acting.
believed that luxury vitiates even the most principled person
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.
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."
First Known Use: 1534See Words from the same year
annihilate, bang up, bash, batter, clobber, crush, dash, decimate, demolish, desolate, destroy, devastate, do in, pulverize, raze, ruin, scourge, shatter, smash, tear down, total, waste, wipe out, wreck;
: to make (something) less effective : to ruin or spoil (something)
What made you want to look up vitiate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).
to lower or disgrace the reputation of
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