Definition of vitiate in English:



  • 1 Spoil or impair the quality or efficiency of.

    ‘development programs have been vitiated by the rise in population’
    • ‘That the singer, Cervantes' Don Quixote, is certainly delusional, possibly mad, doesn't vitiate the song's potency.’
    • ‘This kind of meaningless rhetoric vitiates Craven's discussion of the issue.’
    • ‘While O'Herlihy's panel gives his show more depth, the comedy programme presented by Keane and Taylor is vitiated by a cacophony of voices.’
    • ‘The way is never neglected, it simply is not exploited; for it is to De Sica's purpose to move in tandem with unelliptical life as closely as he dares without vitiating motion-picture technique altogether.’
    • ‘But in this same answer, that great saint recounts another admirable example of a great zeal, proceeding from a very good soul, which was however spoilt and vitiated by the excess of anger which it had stirred up.’
    • ‘Multiple entitlements vitiate demands based on prior existence, occupance, use and discovery.’
    • ‘In a situation that involves a plurality of faiths, a common dress code thus strikes me as a medium of secular arbitration, a function that is vitiated by a blatant divergence from the uniform.’
    • ‘This property of addictive desires distorts the phenomenological field of agency in such a way that my powers of reflective self-control are vitiated but not destroyed.’
    • ‘The state's interest in effective crime-fighting should never vitiate the citizens' Bill of Rights.’
    • ‘To what extent will imperfect, but still good, administration vitiate the efficiency properties of the tax?’
    • ‘In spite of our capacity for good, we seem caught in a web of evil that vitiates everything we do. Even what is basically good can be distorted.’
    • ‘Might this vitiate the importance of the cover?’
    ruin, wreck, destroy, upset, undo, mess up, make a mess of, dash, sabotage, scupper, scotch, torpedo, blast, vitiate
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    1. 1.1Destroy or impair the legal validity of.
      • ‘Is not your problem that the sentencing judge made mistakes which vitiated his decision and enabled the Court of Criminal Appeal to exercise its own discretion?’
      • ‘It is our submission that the course adopted by the learned trial judge has vitiated the verdict in a number of ways.’
      • ‘And why should he be made bankrupt if his apparent inability to pay is vitiated by the counterclaim or cross-demand?’
      • ‘The claimants submit that that is a decision to which no reasonable planning authority could come and it vitiates the defendant's consideration of the planning application.’
      • ‘As with any other contracts, compromises or consent orders may be vitiated by a common mistake of law.’
      • ‘Under the old law a mistake would vitiate the expert's determination if it could be shown that it affected the result.’
      • ‘Of course the appellate tribunal also has the power to overturn the Commissioners' conclusion on the ground of an error of law, but only if that error vitiates the conclusion.’
      • ‘There is abundant authority to show that such frauds as these vitiate consent both in the case of rape and in the case of indecent assault.’
      • ‘The error has the consequence of vitiating the inspector's finding that the development does not accord with the policy.’
      • ‘As a matter of natural justice and procedural fairness, if his departure is so radical as to vitiate the agreement, that would have to be pursued.’
      • ‘In the first place the market manager's presence and hearsay evidence vitiated proceedings, it being against natural justice for a prosecutor to be present during deliberations.’
      • ‘It is said on behalf of the Claimant that this vitiated the decision-making process because it was misleading.’
      • ‘Finally, an apparently valid consent may be vitiated if it is obtained by fraud, which includes cases where a professional deliberately withholds information in bad faith, or by misrepresenting the nature of the proposed care.’
      • ‘I am not satisfied that the first or third of those matters affected the Judge's judgment to the point where any error should vitiate that judgment.’
      • ‘The judge's discretion was therefore vitiated because the merits of any defence were considerably greater than he had been led to believe.’
      • ‘There is nothing in the law which would allow me to vitiate a fairly negotiated contract for lawful purposes.’
      • ‘One important issue is when an apparent consent will be vitiated because it was given under duress or without full knowledge of the material facts.’
      • ‘For reasons already given we do not accept that the judge's self-direction was vitiated by legal misdirection.’
      • ‘There must be present some factor which could in law be regarded as coercion of will so as to vitiate consent.’
      • ‘This does not mean that every deviation from procedural regularity and legal correctness vitiates a jury's verdict of guilty.’


Mid 16th century: from Latin vitiat- impaired from the verb vitiare, from vitium (see vice).