noun, verb (used with object), viced, vic·ing.
- any of various devices, usually having two jaws that may be brought together or separated by means of a screw, lever, or the like, used to hold an object firmly while work is being done on it.
verb (used with object), vised, vis·ing.
- to hold, press, or squeeze with or as with a vise.
- (in English morality plays) a character personifying a particular vice or vice in general
- US a variant spelling of vice 2
- an immoral, wicked, or evil habit, action, or trait
- habitual or frequent indulgence in pernicious, immoral, or degrading practices
- a specific form of pernicious conduct, esp prostitution or sexual perversion
- a failing or imperfection in character, conduct, etcsmoking is his only vice
- pathol obsolete any physical defect or imperfection
- a bad trick or disposition, as of horses, dogs, etc
- an appliance for holding an object while work is done upon it, usually having a pair of jaws
- (tr) to grip (something) with or as if with a vice
- (prenominal)serving in the place of or as a deputy for
- (in combination)viceroy
- informal a person who serves as a deputy to another
- instead of; as a substitute for
“moral fault, wickedness,” c.1300, from Old French vice, from Latin vitium “defect, offense, blemish, imperfection,” in both physical and moral senses (cf. Italian vezzo “usage, entertainment”).
Horace and Aristotle have already spoken to us about the virtues of their forefathers and the vices of their own times, and through the centuries, authors have talked the same way. If all this were true, we would be bears today. [Montesquieu]
Vice squad is attested from 1905. Vice anglais “corporal punishment,” literally “the English vice,” is attested from 1942, from French.
“tool for holding,” see vise.
c.1300, “device like a screw or winch for bending a crossbow or catapult,” from Old French vis, viz “screw,” from Latin vitis “vine, tendril of a vine,” literally “that which winds,” from root of viere “to bind, twist” (see withy). The meaning “clamping tool with two jaws closed by a screw” is first recorded c.1500.