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[vahy-too-puh-reyt, -tyoo-, vi-]
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verb (used with or without object), vi·tu·per·at·ed, vi·tu·per·at·ing.
  1. to use or address with harsh or abusive language; revile.
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Origin of vituperate

1535–45; < Latin vituperātus (past participle of vituperāre to spoil, blame), equivalent to vituperā(re) (vitu-, variant (before a labial) of viti-, stem of vitium blemish, vice1 + -perāre, combining form of parāre to furnish, provide; see prepare) + -tus past participle suffix; see -ate1
Related formsvi·tu·per·a·tor, nounun·vi·tu·per·at·ed, adjective


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for vituperate

Historical Examples

  • Jolly, to abuse or vituperate, sometimes to bear up or bonnet.

    The Slang Dictionary

    John Camden Hotten

  • Bibliolators may vituperate us, persecute us, or imprison us, but they cannot refute us.

    Comic Bible Sketches

    George W. Foote

  • Useless to argue with the tradesmen, to expostulate, to vituperate.

    The Roll-Call

    Arnold Bennett

  • Deviation from scenic propriety has only to vituperate itself for the consequences it generates.

  • Literature and the pulpit were inevitably the interpreters that she employed to vituperate the sins of the people.

    The Cathedral

    Joris-Karl Huysmans

British Dictionary definitions for vituperate


  1. to berate or rail (against) abusively; revile
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Derived Formsvituperator, noun

Word Origin

C16: from Latin vituperāre to blame, from vitium a defect + parāre to make
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 vituperate


1540s, from Latin vituperatus, past participle of vituperare (see vituperation). "Not in common use until the beginning of the 19th c." [OED]. Related: Vituperated; vituperating.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper