Definition of depravity in English:



mass noun
  • 1Moral corruption; wickedness.

    ‘a tale of depravity hard to credit’
    count noun ‘I wondered what depravities had occurred in that place’
    • ‘No one, regardless of their moral depravity, should be denied medical care, but neither should moral depravity be condoned and tolerated.’
    • ‘His work of this time conveyed disgust at the horrors of war and the depravities of a decadent society with unerring psychological insight and devastating emotional effect.’
    • ‘If people wish to wallow in a cesspool of moral depravity, then they can visit a theatre and ogle the kind of actors that perform such plays.’
    • ‘Even the program book's supplementary material avoids any mention of the depravities endured there.’
    • ‘The result is a debased, debauched culture which finds moral depravity entertaining and virtue contemptible.’
    • ‘However, he rapidly descended into delightfully funny self-deprecating rants, characterised by frequent bouts of moral depravity.’
    • ‘Callous hunters are now presented as the personification of moral depravity.’
    • ‘He insinuates himself into party after party, observing a parade of gauche behavior, depravity, and selfishness.’
    • ‘How does one begin to comprehend, let alone treat with, this kind of moral depravity?’
    • ‘The neighborhood's ‘infamy was so well known, that out-of-town visitors went there to see its depravities.’’
    • ‘Of course, the indiscipline and depravity was very evident too.’
    • ‘Yet, his department wants to make a statement about what he must see as moral depravity.’
    • ‘Urban poverty was itself a serious problem, but many activists were concerned more specifically with the plight of children who were exposed to such an environment of material deprivation and moral depravity.’
    • ‘One can avoid pornography on the market, but everyone pays for the depravities of the political class.’
    • ‘These are well known and their depravities thoroughly discussed.’
    • ‘To him the popular leaders were simply deceivers, brigands and tyrants, their followers the victims of self-serving malice and moral depravity.’
    • ‘The level of judgment is tied to the level of depravity that occurred.’
    • ‘Set in a surrealist netherworld where eccentricities meet anarchy, the play plummets the audience into a landscape of Dali's well known paintings and into the depths and depravities of the artist's own subconscious.’
    • ‘In the vehemence of their indignation, the general public somewhat forget that poverty and affluence can be equally conducive to moral depravity.’
    • ‘He incessantly denounced the moral depravity of leading politicians.’
    corruption, corruptness, vice, perversion, pervertedness, deviance, degeneracy, degradation, immorality, shamelessness, debauchery, dissipation, dissoluteness, turpitude, loucheness, profligacy, licentiousness, lewdness, lasciviousness, salaciousness, lechery, lecherousness, prurience, obscenity, indecency, libertinism, sordidness
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Christian Theology The innate corruption of human nature, due to original sin.
      • ‘His highlighting of the paradoxes arising from human free will, creativity and depravity made me keen to read on.’
      • ‘The doctrines of original sin or inherent human depravity would be examples of theism in its more extreme forms.’
      • ‘We are all sinners who have been deeply wounded by the stain of our depravity, and we are nowhere more vulnerable and given to temptation than in the sexual dimensions of our being.’
      • ‘The author, opposing any doctrine of natural depravity, argued that all children are born ‘innocent,’ that is, equally capable of vice or virtue.’
      • ‘Therefore a God-given moral absolute is necessarily applied and essential to the well being of the human species, given the depravity of human nature as it presently stands.’
      sin, sinfulness, ungodliness, unrighteousness, profanity, impiety, impurity
      View synonyms


Mid 17th century: alteration (influenced by deprave) of obsolete pravity, from Latin pravitas, from pravus ‘crooked, perverse’.