verb (used with object), vi·ti·at·ed, vi·ti·at·ing.

to impair the quality of; make faulty; spoil.
to impair or weaken the effectiveness of.
to debase; corrupt; pervert.
to make legally defective or invalid; invalidate: to vitiate a claim.

Origin of vitiate

1525–35; < Latin vitiātus, past participle of vitiāre to spoil, derivative of vitium blemish, vice1 + -ātus -ate1
Related formsvi·ti·a·tion, nounvi·ti·a·tor, nounnon·vi·ti·a·tion, nounun·vi·ti·at·ed, adjectiveun·vi·ti·at·ing, adjective
Can be confusedameliorate obviate vitiate Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for vitiation

Historical Examples of vitiation

  • The phenomena of puerperal fever originate in a vitiation of the fluids.

  • There is the inefficiency of the syllogism, and also the vitiation produced by its employment.

    A Logic Of Facts

    George Jacob Holyoake

  • From remote ages it had been numbered among the elements, though considered liable to vitiation or foulness.

  • To correct this vitiation, to abolish these disastrous hates and misconceptions, elaborate learning was not needed.

  • When the atmosphere is vitiated, the oxygenating processes are diminished in ratio to the vitiation.


    Augustus C. Hamlin

British Dictionary definitions for vitiation


verb (tr)

to make faulty or imperfect
to debase, pervert, or corrupt
to destroy the force or legal effect of (a deed, etc)to vitiate a contract
Derived Formsvitiable, adjectivevitiation, nounvitiator, noun

Word Origin for vitiate

C16: from Latin vitiāre to injure, from vitium a fault
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

Word Origin and History for vitiation



1530s, from Latin vitiatus, past participle of vitiare "to make faulty, injure, spoil, corrupt," from vitium "fault, defect, blemish, crime, vice" (see vice (n.1)). Related: Vitiated; vitiating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for vitiation




A change in a process that impairs utility or reduces efficiency.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.