- addicted to or characterized by vice; grossly immoral; depraved; profligate: a vicious life.
- given or readily disposed to evil: a vicious criminal.
- reprehensible; blameworthy; wrong: a vicious deception.
- spiteful; malicious: vicious gossip; a vicious attack.
- unpleasantly severe: a vicious headache.
- characterized or marred by faults or defects; faulty; unsound: vicious reasoning.
- savage; ferocious: They all feared his vicious temper.
- (of an animal) having bad habits or a cruel or fierce disposition: a vicious bull.
- Archaic. morbid, foul, or noxious.
Origin of vicious
SynonymsSee more synonyms for vicious on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for viciously
The best that can be said for these budding radicals is that at least they sincerely hate the thing they so viciously attack.An Ivy League Frat Boy’s Shallow Repentance
November 24, 2014
“They treated me like an alien,” she says, explaining that North Koreans are viciously stereotyped in South Korea.How ‘Titanic ’Helped This Brave Young Woman Escape North Korea’s Totalitarian State
October 31, 2014
In 2004, two Sikh men were viciously beaten by young white assailants while walking on the sidewalk.New York’s Sikhs Need Their Own Al Sharpton
August 8, 2014
Nor is it where the gunman then viciously pistol whips his victim repeatedly for having the temerity not to die.Bronx Gunman Shot His Friend, Didn’t Spill His Drink
August 5, 2014
And in the 1950s, China policy was what Israel policy is today: a deeply ideological, viciously partisan issue.Why Doesn’t Anyone Care About the Rising U.S.-China Tension?
December 16, 2013
I wouldn't,' said Miggs viciously, 'no, not for five-and-forty pound!'Barnaby Rudge
He caught me viciously by the arm and looked sharply into my face.
I caught her viciously by the wrist, and with my face close up to hers "Folle!"
"That blow has killed Florimond de Condillac," he told her viciously.St. Martin's Summer
“If not, he should learn,” said the chamois hunter, viciously.The Princess Virginia
C. N. Williamson
- wicked or cruel; villainousa vicious thug
- characterized by violence or ferocitya vicious blow
- informal unpleasantly severe; harsha vicious wind
- characterized by malicevicious lies
- (esp of dogs, horses, etc) ferocious or hostile; dangerous
- characterized by or leading to vice
- invalidated by defects; unsounda vicious inference
- obsolete noxious or morbida vicious exhalation
Word Origin and History for viciously
early 14c. (implied in viciously), "of the nature of vice, wicked," from Anglo-French vicious, Old French vicieus, from Latin vitiosus "faulty, defective, corrupt," from vitium "fault" (see vice (n.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 from 1825. In law, "marred by some inherent fault" (late 14c.), hence also this sense in logic (c.1600); cf. vicious circle in reasoning (c.1792, Latin circulus vitiosus), which was given a general sense of "a situation in which action and reaction intensify one another" by 1839.