Definition of


  1. (adj, all) (of persons or their actions) able or disposed to inflict pain or suffering
    brutal beatings
    cruel tortures
    Stalin's roughshod treatment of the kulaks
    a savage slap
    vicious kicks
  2. (adj, all) having the nature of vice
  3. (adj, all) bringing or deserving severe rebuke or censure
    a deplorable act of violence
    adultery is as reprehensible for a husband as for a wife
  4. (adj, all) marked by deep ill will; deliberately harmful
    venomous criticism
    vicious gossip

via WordNet, Princeton University

Alternate forms of Vicious

Derivations: vice, viciousness

Origin of the word Vicious

  1. early 14c. (implied in viciously), "of the nature of vice, wicked," from Anglo-Fr. vicious, O.Fr. vicieus, from L. vitiosus "faulty, defective, corrupt," from vitium "fault" (see vice (1)). Meaning "inclined to be savage or dangerous" is first recorded 1711 (originally of animals, especially horses); that of "full of spite, bitter, severe" is … more

via Online Etymology Dictionary, ©2001 Douglas Harper

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