Main definitions of vice in English

: vice1vice2vice3vice4

vice1

noun

  • 1[mass noun] Immoral or wicked behaviour:

    ‘an open sewer of vice and crime’
    • ‘Goethe is said to have said of himself that there was no vice or crime of which he could not trace the tendency in himself, and that at some period of his life he could not have understood fully.’
    • ‘Idleness is the greatest curse that can fall upon man, for vice and crime follow in its train.’
    • ‘He said Milthesh had tried to introduce her own daughter to the same world of vice and crime.’
    • ‘Their pleasure was not happiness, contemporaries charged, but egotism, immorality, indulgence, and vice.’
    • ‘We will be frequently using these orders to combat vice and the directly-associated crime.’
    • ‘In adults this streak gives away to double-standards, greed and vice.’
    • ‘Machiavelli sometimes associates these passions and desires which are inherent to human nature with vice and corruption and immoral, blameworthy, wicked, and dishonourable conduct.’
    • ‘Racial attitudes existed parallel to hardening attitudes towards immorality and vice, which required the same segregation that racial separation would soon require as well.’
    • ‘It waged holy war on the devil's kingdom of unbelief, and sought to bring the ‘vast continent of vice, crime and misery’ that was London's East End to salvation.’
    • ‘Quoting Proverbs, the priest said virtue would elevate a nation to a higher plane, while vice would degrade it.’
    • ‘Divorce, hitherto a rarity, suddenly took off like a rocket and, as this plague of immorality and vice swept right across the western world, movie makers jumped on the bandwagon.’
    • ‘That iron belief prompted them to try to curb what they clearly understood as vice and depravity.’
    • ‘In Paton's novel, liquor, the lifeblood of the slumyards, breeds crime, vice, and violence.’
    • ‘Crime, vice and violence flourished, until Bow moved upmarket too and the fair was closed forever in the 1820s.’
    • ‘The place was crowded with men and women, many of them bearing on their faces the marks of vice and crime; some were drunk.’
    • ‘You cannot live a good life, a virtuous life, by avoiding or ignoring the world of vice, sin and sleaze.’
    • ‘In 1924 Congress effectively outlawed heroin, which, like smoking opium, was associated with vice and crime.’
    • ‘Such children in rural areas help their parents on subsistence farms, while in the shanty areas of towns school dropouts engage in petty street vending, with the ever present risk of drifting into crime and vice.’
    • ‘From the '20s to the '50s, Montreal was considered by American police to be a haven of vice and decadence.’
    • ‘He was being investigated on suspicion of vice, gambling, crimes of violence, loan sharking and money laundering.’
    immorality, wrongdoing, wrong, wickedness, badness, evil-doing, evil, iniquity, villainy, venality, impurity, corruption, corruptness, misconduct
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Criminal activities involving prostitution, pornography, or drugs:
      ‘a mobile phone network is being used to peddle vice’
      • ‘Asylum seekers are being praised for helping to breathe new life into a rundown part of a South Yorkshire town that was once blighted by drugs and vice.’
      • ‘Detectives investigated the murky world of vice and drugs to track down the murderer.’
      • ‘With this shift, connections between drug use and vice and crime had become much stronger in public discourse.’
      • ‘The exceptions, he wrote, are those who come as warriors or spies or to spread corruption, vice and drugs.’
      • ‘Her family were heartbroken as they watched helplessly as she slipped further into the seedy world of drugs and vice.’
      • ‘In all, 78 cases had been resolved with the majority involving vice, child prostitution, theft and public disturbance.’
      • ‘In her films, Wishman employs standard melodramatic plot lines and then inverts the parameters to impose illicit acts and criminal vice into the fray.’
      • ‘Target teams flooded the Bradford South district to focus on those involved in drugs, vice, vehicle and street crime.’
      • ‘And vice associated with prostitution - pimping, extortion and drug abuse - simultaneously diminished.’
      • ‘The sale and use of books and literature on crime, vice, pornography should be banned.’
      • ‘Mostly they work at low paid jobs, some are starving and cold, others turn to prostitution and vice to make ends meet until their big break comes.’
      • ‘The endless possibilities of the city could pose moral dangers of temptation and vice, of prostitution and degeneration, as well as rational recreation.’
      • ‘Before these secondments, he spent four years as a detective at Sydney's Waverley station, working drugs and vice.’
      • ‘‘I just wonder how many of the 63 per cent who want a brothel would like it next to them,’ said Mr McCue, who works with the police to monitor vice activity.’
      • ‘The former leader of York Council, who faces vice and blackmail charges, was yesterday given bail by a judge.’
      • ‘In his 30 years as a police officer, Charlie Jones worked patrol, vice, narcotics, robbery, auto theft and homicide.’
      • ‘But my friend Dave, who used to operate the Kings Cross CCTV cameras, can vouch that there is still enough drugs and vice going on in the area for the Met to shake a very big truncheon-like stick at.’
      • ‘Closing bars and nightclubs will not rid the place of drugs and vice.’
      • ‘Quite frankly, I have no intention of travelling to a country that decides I am not responsible enough to have a beer at 3 a.m. because they have a domestic problem with drugs and vice.’
      • ‘I have long been puzzled by the supposed crackdown on drugs and vice that steadfastly ignored the home grown Thai problem of all pervasive corruption.’
      immorality, wrongdoing, wrong, wickedness, badness, evil-doing, evil, iniquity, villainy, venality, impurity, corruption, corruptness, misconduct
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2[count noun] An immoral or wicked personal characteristic:
      ‘hypocrisy is a particularly sinister vice’
      • ‘When the worse gets to the worst, a number of people end up indulging in various societal vices to earn a living.’
      • ‘For me, this turns on whether Bennett has engaged in a vice or has refused to accept personal responsibility.’
      • ‘In the Muslim world materialism is rampant but is considered a vice; people are not presented as role models simply because of their wealth.’
      • ‘And for a man who confesses to having an addictive personality, his main vice is now mostly confined to words.’
      • ‘When one departs from the deeds of a specific group into speaking of the vices of a whole race or a people, one is descending to demonization and engaging in pure propaganda.’
      • ‘Taylor's picture provides a credible analysis of the vices and virtues of the modern naturalization of the cosmos and of our tendency to think that values are subjective.’
      • ‘Extracting money out of innocent, trusting people for these two vices was easy for him.’
      • ‘The subtext is that this is a story of a personal vice, usually greed, on the part of the trader or his managers or both.’
      • ‘But now that porn has become ubiquitous, people have forgotten that it is a vice.’
      • ‘Criminalizing non-violent persons for their vices is immoral.’
      • ‘Once upon a time, in a very different world, it was not known that the children of George V shared some of the worst characteristics and vices of their generation, as well as some of the best and most heroic virtues.’
      • ‘The choir likewise represent not only the blessed and angels, but vices personified; they are also used as a chorus - in the sense of Greek tragedy - to comment on the action.’
      • ‘As you may already know, I work on my Heart Smarts goodwill program full time, helping people fight off vices that plague their lives, like gambling and genocide.’
      • ‘We can add to the argument of that illustrious author by observing that slavery is not useful to the master because the latter contracts all kinds of vices and habits contrary to the laws of society.’
      • ‘I didn't really get involved in any of the hedonistic vices that most people got involved in.’
      • ‘It is true that any kind of involvement in vices is basically a moral issue and people do not have to be poor or rich to indulge in crime.’
      • ‘In fact, being part of the Greek community lessens the influence of such vices on impressionable young people.’
      • ‘‘Our aim is to introduce the sport in schools so that we bring the young out of bad vices, especially sexual immorality,’ Munkonge said.’
      • ‘Corruption as a vice affects people from all walks of life and it is important that everybody and anybody, who is willing and able, should be involved to fight the scourge that is eating at the heart of our society today.’
    3. 1.3[count noun] A weakness of character or behaviour; a bad habit:
      ‘cigars happen to be my father's vice’
      • ‘Sikhs try to avoid the five vices that make people self-centred, and build barriers against God in their lives.’
      • ‘War, according to the theologian, meant a battle against vices, personal and spiritual.’
      • ‘They were basically good people with problems and vices.’
      • ‘He called on his team to display that old fashioned Scottish characteristic of aggression, which can be as much a virtue as a vice unlike other traits some would foist upon teams.’
      • ‘In their movies, the Coens have always given dumb people over to their vices and let them dangle.’
      • ‘There are no caricatures; each character has his own unique blend of characteristics, strength and weaknesses, virtue and vices.’
      • ‘Most of the natural vices which prevent a person from being ‘good,’ in Hume's sense, are ones that may well ‘go to posterity,’ and so do have weight and moment.’
      • ‘In the revolutionaries' eyes, anything that made a woman look attractive was considered a vice because it distracted people from piousness and spirituality.’
      • ‘Of course it also has Lumet's characteristic vices - he has never been exactly subtle.’
      • ‘Tabloid journalism used to be a guilty vice enjoyed by people waiting in supermarket lines.’
      • ‘For instance, while more people invoke God in terms of politics and policy, you see evangelicals and conservative Protestants spending less time focused on personal vices.’
      • ‘Personal vices may arise, and conflicting viewpoints may emerge, but they'll only affect a small number of voters this time.’
      • ‘We suffer primarily not from our vices or our weaknesses, but from our illusions.’
      • ‘It finds expression in acts of particular virtues or vices like honesty, generosity, cheerfulness, jealousy or cruelty.’
      • ‘The problem might well be that our political class is not particularly patriotic - in fact, sees patriotism as a vice.’
      • ‘The line of thinking advocated by Sister Uma is that the world can be transformed if only each individual shed his/her vices and acquired spiritual traits.’
      • ‘Given these attitudes, they are prone to a number of vices, including lack of generosity, cowardice, and intemperance.’
      • ‘Maybe the political indifference or ignorance of the average American is not at root a vice in our national life but a virtue, a product of a mild politics.’
      • ‘Cursing is another vice that some people decide to give up on.’
      • ‘But on the other hand, the liberal in me is a little uneasy about regulating people's vices in this way.’
      shortcoming, failing, flaw, fault, defect, weakness, weak point, deficiency, limitation, imperfection, blemish, foible, fallibility, frailty, infirmity
      View synonyms
    4. 1.4[count noun] A bad or neurotic habit of stabled horses, typically arising as a result of boredom.
      • ‘Some stabled horses develop abnormal behaviors called stable vices from the stress of confinement.’
      • ‘Many livery yard owners will not tolerate a horse with a stable vice in their yard but on the other hand a horse with proven form might be forgiven a vice if it was reflected in the purchase price.’
      • ‘This type of diet can lead to stable vices such as cribbing or chewing to more serious problems such as ulcers, colic and acidosis.’
      • ‘One common stable vice is cribbing, and it may be more of a danger than once thought.’
      • ‘Somebody turn this horse out or he'll develop stable vices!’
      • ‘Cribbiting is a stable vice that can lead on to the more serious condition of windsucking.’
      • ‘Any stable vice, such as weaving or cribbing, results in that stallion not receiving his breeding license.’
      • ‘The incidence of many of the so-called stable vices of horses can be increased by stable design.’
      • ‘Weaving, crib biting and windsucking are all stable vices and should be declared at the time of sale and will be noted on the veterinary certificate.’
      • ‘Heredity may also predispose a horse to certain vices.’
      • ‘Learn about the characteristics, causes and cures of weaving a common stable vice in horses and ponies.’
      • ‘He has no stable vices and is excellent to shoe, box, clip, catch and to handle in all ways.’
      • ‘All of the common stable vices stem from poor adaption to captive management.’
      • ‘Overexcited nervous horses are more prone to health problems and bad habits or stable vices and can be dangerous for riders and owners.’
      • ‘These stable vices generally result in a damaged barn, but they have the potential to cause serious health conditions.’
      • ‘Here is a list of some of the more common stable vices, their causes, and some tips on how to curb them.’
      • ‘An overfed, underexercised horse is a prime candidate for developing any of a number of stable vices.’
      • ‘The gelding I had never saw his sire, grew up entirely different from his sire and still would occasionally exhibit his stable vice for several minutes if a stable mate was taken out and he wasn't.’
      • ‘The most common stable vice is probably ‘wind sucking,’ commonly known as ‘cribbing,’ followed by wood chewing, stall weaving or walking, and fence line pacing.’
      • ‘Therefore so-called stable vices are more properly being referred to as ‘stereotypic behaviour’.’

Origin

Middle English: via Old French from Latin vitium.

Pronunciation:

vice

/vʌɪs/

Main definitions of vice in English

: vice1vice2vice3vice4

vice2

preposition

  • As a substitute for:

    ‘the letter was drafted by David Hunt, vice Bevin who was ill’

Origin

Latin, ablative of vic- change.

Pronunciation:

vice

/vʌɪs/

Main definitions of vice in English

: vice1vice2vice3vice4

vice3

(US vise)

noun

  • A metal tool with movable jaws which are used to hold an object firmly in place while work is done on it, typically attached to a workbench:

    ‘hold the rail in the vice’
    ‘Evelyn's fingers were like a vice’
    • ‘The husband grimaced as his wife clamped his fingers like a vise.’
    • ‘Do the same operation, but with a Phillips screwdriver clamped into the vise.’
    • ‘But she held firm, and when he realized she was serious, panic gripped him, clamping his rib cage like a vise.’
    • ‘I clamp a steel straight edge in a vise and just draw the surface over the steel edge a few times.’
    • ‘Use clamps or a vise to hold workplaces when practical.’
    • ‘Dip or spray the handles and clamp a metal portion of the tool lightly into a vise and let dry.’
    • ‘Clamp the molding in a wood vise, or to a workbench, or on a sawhorse.’
    • ‘The vise is a workbench tool and should be firmly secured before being used.’
    • ‘Lock a tool head in a vise to remove a broken handle.’
    • ‘Whenever possible, hold the work in a vise or clamp when inserting a screw.’

Origin

Middle English (denoting a screw or winch): from Old French vis, from Latin vitis vine.

Pronunciation:

vice

/vʌɪs/

Main definitions of vice in English

: vice1vice2vice3vice4

vice4

noun

informal
  • short for vice president, vice admiral, etc.
    • ‘He said a president, his vice and other government leaders should not have a background of smoking dagga and engaging in homosexuality.’

Pronunciation:

vice

/vʌɪs/