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Word of the Day
Friday, July 13, 2018

Definitions for vitiate

  1. to impair or weaken the effectiveness of.
  2. to impair the quality of; make faulty; spoil.
  3. to debase; corrupt; pervert.

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Citations for vitiate
... some infinitesimal excess or deficiency, some minute accession of heat or cold, some chance adulteration in this or that ingredient, can vitiate a whole course of inquiry, requiring the labour of weeks to be all begun again ... Charles Lever, One of Them, 1861
In his mad odyssey through the dark side — waterboarding, secret rendition, indefinite detention, unnecessary war and manipulation of C.I.A. analysis — Dick Cheney did his best to vitiate our system of checks and balances. His nefarious work is still warping our intelligence system more than a decade later. Maureen Dowd, "The Spies Who Didn't Love Her," New York Times, March 11, 2014
Origin of vitiate
1525-1535
The English verb vitiate comes directly from the Latin past participle vitiātus “spoiled, impaired,” from the verb vitiāre, which is a derivative of the noun vitium “defect, fault,” a word of uncertain etymology. Vitium is the source of Old French vice, English vice. Vitiate entered English in the 15th century.