iniquitous

as in immoral
not conforming to a high moral standard; morally unacceptable zero tolerance at the academy for cheating and other iniquitous practices

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How does the adjective iniquitous differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of iniquitous are corrupt, degenerate, nefarious, vicious, and villainous. While all these words mean "highly reprehensible or offensive in character, nature, or conduct," iniquitous implies absence of all signs of justice or fairness.

an iniquitous system of taxation

In what contexts can corrupt take the place of iniquitous?

While the synonyms corrupt and iniquitous are close in meaning, corrupt stresses a loss of moral integrity or probity causing betrayal of principle or sworn obligations.

city hall was rife with corrupt politicians

When could degenerate be used to replace iniquitous?

In some situations, the words degenerate and iniquitous are roughly equivalent. However, degenerate suggests having sunk to an especially vicious or enervated condition.

a degenerate regime propped up by foreign powers

When can nefarious be used instead of iniquitous?

The synonyms nefarious and iniquitous are sometimes interchangeable, but nefarious suggests flagrant breaching of time-honored laws and traditions of conduct.

the nefarious rackets of organized crime

When might vicious be a better fit than iniquitous?

While in some cases nearly identical to iniquitous, vicious may directly oppose virtuous in implying moral depravity, or may connote malignancy, cruelty, or destructive violence.

a vicious gangster

Where would villainous be a reasonable alternative to iniquitous?

The words villainous and iniquitous are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, villainous applies to any evil, depraved, or vile conduct or characteristic.

a villainous assault

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Cite this Entry

“Iniquitous.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/iniquitous. Accessed 9 Feb. 2023.

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