- addicted to or characterized by vice; grossly immoral; depraved; profligate: a vicious life.
- given or readily disposed to evil: a vicious criminal.
- reprehensible; blameworthy; wrong: a vicious deception.
- spiteful; malicious: vicious gossip; a vicious attack.
- unpleasantly severe: a vicious headache.
- characterized or marred by faults or defects; faulty; unsound: vicious reasoning.
- savage; ferocious: They all feared his vicious temper.
- (of an animal) having bad habits or a cruel or fierce disposition: a vicious bull.
- Archaic. morbid, foul, or noxious.
- wicked or cruel; villainousa vicious thug
- characterized by violence or ferocitya vicious blow
- informal unpleasantly severe; harsha vicious wind
- characterized by malicevicious lies
- (esp of dogs, horses, etc) ferocious or hostile; dangerous
- characterized by or leading to vice
- invalidated by defects; unsounda vicious inference
- obsolete noxious or morbida vicious exhalation
early 14c. (implied in viciously), “of the nature of vice, wicked,” from Anglo-French vicious, Old French vicieus, from Latin vitiosus “faulty, defective, corrupt,” from vitium “fault” (see vice (n.1)). Meaning “inclined to be savage or dangerous” is first recorded 1711 (originally of animals, especially horses); that of “full of spite, bitter, severe” is from 1825. In law, “marred by some inherent fault” (late 14c.), hence also this sense in logic (c.1600); cf. vicious circle in reasoning (c.1792, Latin circulus vitiosus), which was given a general sense of “a situation in which action and reaction intensify one another” by 1839.