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Word of the Day
Saturday, May 03, 2003

Definitions for vitiate

  1. To make faulty or imperfect; to render defective; to impair; as, "exaggeration vitiates a style of writing."
  2. To corrupt morally; to debase.
  3. To render ineffective; as, "fraud vitiates a contract."

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Citations for vitiate
MacNelly is one of the few contemporary political cartoonists who can use humor to accentuate, not vitiate, his points. Richard E. Marschall, Columbia Journalism Review
It seems churlish to say of a book that is beautifully written, richly allusive, learned, elegant, Proustian in tone and mode, that precisely these qualities vitiate its ostensible purpose, distracting attention from the subject and focusing it upon the very gifted author. Gertrude Himmelfarb, Commentary
Origin of vitiate
Vitiate comes from Latin vitiare, from vitium, fault. It is related to vice (a moral failing or fault), which comes from vitium via French.