- performed, exercised, received, or suffered in place of another: vicarious punishment.
- taking the place of another person or thing; acting or serving as a substitute.
- felt or enjoyed through imagined participation in the experience of others: a vicarious thrill.
- Physiology. noting or pertaining to a situation in which one organ performs part of the functions normally performed by another.
Origin of vicarious
Related Words for vicariouseventual, indirect, pretended, secondary, surrogate, sympathetic, empathetic, commissioned, deputed, substitutional
Examples from the Web for vicarious
Contemporary Examples of vicarious
But the old city, site of the bull run, has the inevitable trappings of a theme park for aficionados of the vicarious kind.Is This Hemingway’s Pamplona or a Lot of Bull?
July 13, 2014
David, I want to shake you and say, do not use our lives as vicarious proof for your consumer conservatism.David Brooks In The Supermarket Aisles Of Judaism
March 13, 2013
He reads biographies, he dreams of great men—a vicarious pleasure, presumably.Bennett's Emergence—And Obama's?
January 18, 2013
But the appeal of Harlequins is more than just vicarious sex.How ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Is Shaking Up the Business of the Romance Genre
June 6, 2012
You may feel dizzy from all the vicarious Scotch-drinking, too; the series is that visceral.Mad Men's Finest Hour
August 13, 2009
Historical Examples of vicarious
I could, perhaps, wring a somber, vicarious joy from the things that might have been.The Worlds of If
Stanley Grauman Weinbaum
Thus she can have a vicarious career by virtue of what she has put into her husband's.
It is vicarious suffering; for they do not know what is perplexing us.The Preacher and His Models
There they met all the vicarious members of the Pullman Club—the wives.Skinner's Dress Suit
Henry Irving Dodge
It is true, it was a vicarious experience, else he would not have lived to profit by it.The Call of the Wild
- obtained or undergone at second hand through sympathetic participation in another's experiences
- suffered, undergone, or done as the substitute for anothervicarious punishment
- delegatedvicarious authority
- taking the place of another
- pathol (of menstrual bleeding) occurring at an abnormal siteSee endometriosis
Word Origin for vicarious
Word Origin and History for vicarious
1630s, from Latin vicarius "substitute, deputy" (adj. and n.), from vicis "turn, change, exchange, substitution," from PIE root *weik-, *weig- "to bend, wind" (cf. Sanskrit visti "changing, changeable;" Old English wician "to give way, yield," wice "wych elm;" Old Norse vikja "to bend, turn;" Swedish viker "willow twig, wand;" German wechsel "change"). Related: Vicariously.
- Felt or undergone as if one were taking part in the experience or feelings of another.
- Occurring in or performed by a part of the body not normally associated with a certain function.