definitions
  • synonyms

vice

1
[ vahys ]
/ vaɪs /
|
SEE MORE SYNONYMS FOR vice ON THESAURUS.COM

noun

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Nearby words

vicarious, vicarious hypertrophy, vicarious menstruation, vicariously, vicarly, vice, vice admiral, vice chancellor, vice pres., vice president, vice squad

Origin of vice

1
1250–1300; Middle English < Anglo-French, Old French < Latin vitium a fault, defect, vice

Synonym study

1. Fault, failing, foible, weakness, vice imply shortcomings or imperfections in a person. Fault is the common word used to refer to any of the average shortcomings of a person; when it is used, condemnation is not necessarily implied: Of his many faults the greatest is vanity. Foible, failing, weakness all tend to excuse the person referred to. Of these foible is the mildest, suggesting a weak point that is slight and often amusing, manifesting itself in eccentricity rather than in wrongdoing: the foibles of artists. Weakness suggests that the person in question is unable to control a particular impulse, and gives way to self-indulgence: a weakness for pretty women. Failing is closely akin to fault, except that it is particularly applied to humanity at large, suggesting common, often venial, shortcomings: Procrastination and making excuses are common failings. Vice (which may also apply to a sin in itself, apart from a person: the vice of gambling ) is the strongest term, and designates a habit that is truly detrimental or evil.

Definition for vice (2 of 5)

vice

2
[ vahys ]
/ vaɪs /

noun, verb (used with object), viced, vic·ing.

Definition for vice (3 of 5)

vice

3
[ vahy-see, -suh, vahys ]
/ ˈvaɪ si, -sə, vaɪs /

preposition

instead of; in the place of.

Origin of vice

3
1760–70; < Latin: instead of, ablative of vicis (genitive; not attested in nominative) interchange, alternation

Definition for vice (4 of 5)

vise

or vice

[ vahys ]
/ vaɪs /

noun

any of various devices, usually having two jaws that may be brought together or separated by means of a screw, lever, or the like, used to hold an object firmly while work is being done on it.

verb (used with object), vised, vis·ing.

to hold, press, or squeeze with or as with a vise.

Origin of vise

1300–50; Middle English vis < Old French: screw < Latin vītis vine (whose spiral form gave later sense)
Related formsvise·like, adjective

Definition for vice (5 of 5)

vice-


a combining form meaning “deputy,” used in the formation of compound words, usually titles of officials who serve in the absence of the official denoted by the base word: viceroy; vice-chancellor.

Origin of vice-

Middle EnglishLatin vice vice3
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for vice

British Dictionary definitions for vice (1 of 6)

vice

1
/ (vaɪs) /

noun

an immoral, wicked, or evil habit, action, or trait
habitual or frequent indulgence in pernicious, immoral, or degrading practices
a specific form of pernicious conduct, esp prostitution or sexual perversion
a failing or imperfection in character, conduct, etcsmoking is his only vice
pathol obsolete any physical defect or imperfection
a bad trick or disposition, as of horses, dogs, etc
Derived Formsviceless, adjective

Word Origin for vice

C13: via Old French from Latin vitium a defect

British Dictionary definitions for vice (2 of 6)

vice

2

often US vise

/ (vaɪs) /

noun

an appliance for holding an object while work is done upon it, usually having a pair of jaws

verb

(tr) to grip (something) with or as if with a vice
Derived Formsvicelike or US viselike, adjective

Word Origin for vice

C15: from Old French vis a screw, from Latin vītis vine, plant with spiralling tendrils (hence the later meaning)

British Dictionary definitions for vice (3 of 6)

vice

3
/ (vaɪs) /

adjective

  1. (prenominal) serving in the place of or as a deputy for
  2. (in combination)viceroy

noun

informal a person who serves as a deputy to another

Word Origin for vice

C18: from Latin vice, from vicis interchange

British Dictionary definitions for vice (4 of 6)

vice

4
/ (ˈvaɪsɪ) /

preposition

instead of; as a substitute for

Word Origin for vice

C16: from Latin, ablative of vicis change

British Dictionary definitions for vice (5 of 6)

Vice

/ (vaɪs) /

noun

(in English morality plays) a character personifying a particular vice or vice in general

British Dictionary definitions for vice (6 of 6)

vise

/ (vaɪs) /

noun, verb

US a variant spelling of vice 2
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012