1 moral weakness [syn: frailty]
2 a specific form of evildoing; "vice offends the moral standards of the community"
- Rhymes with: -aɪs
Etymology 1From vitium.
legal term for prostitution
- Finnish: seksikauppa
Etymology 2From vis, from vis, viz, from vitis; probably akin to English withy.
Vice is a practice or habit that is considered immoral, depraved, and/or degrading in the associated society. In more minor usage, vice can refer to a fault, a defect, an infirmity, or merely a bad habit. Synonyms for vice include fault, depravity, sin, iniquity, wickedness and corruption. The modern Spanish term that best captures its original meaning is the word vicious, which means "full of vice." In this sense, the word vice comes from the Latin word vitium, meaning "failing or defect". Vice is the opposite of virtue.
Vice is also a generic legal term for criminal offenses involving prostitution, lewdness, lasciviousness, and obscenity. Illegal forms of gambling are also often included as a vice in law enforcement departments that deal with gambling as a crime.
Overview of religious views on viceOne way of organizing the vices is as the corruption of the virtues. A virtue can be corrupted by nonuse, misuse, or overuse. Thus the cardinal vices would be lust (nonuse of temperance), cowardice (nonuse of courage), folly (misuse of a virtue, opposite of wisdom), and venality (nonuse of justice). See: The four virtues.
Examples of vices
Some vices recognized in various cultures of the world include:
- child sacrifice
- moral relativism
- poor judgment
- wildness, uncivilization
Popular usageThe term vice is also popularly applied to various activities considered immoral by some; a list of these might include the use of alcohol and other recreational drugs, gambling, smoking, recklessness, cheating, lying, selfishness. It is also used in reference to police vice units who prosecute crimes associated with these activities. Often, vice particularly designates a failure to comply with the sexual mores of the time and place such as sexual promiscuity.
Behaviors or attitudes going against the established virtues of the culture may also be called vices: for instance, effeminacy is considered a vice in a culture espousing masculinity as an essential element of the character of males.
- Virtues and Vices, Aristotle, trans. H. Rackman, Loeb Classical Library, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, l992. Vol #285.
- In the Garden of Evil: The Vices and Culture in the Middle Ages. Edited by Richard Newhauser, Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, Toronto 2005 ISBN 0-88844-818-X
vice in German: Laster
vice in Spanish: Vicio
vice in French: Vice
vice in Portuguese: Vício
vice in Russian: Порок
vice in Finnish: Pahe
vice in Slovak: Neresť
vice in Swedish: Last (psykologi)
advocate, alter ego, alternate, amicus curiae, as proxy for, as representing, attorney, backup, backup man, bad habit, badness, besetting sin, blemish, champion, corruption, crime, criminal tendency, criminality, criminosis, debasement, debauchery, decay, defect, deficiency, degeneracy, degradation, depravity, deputy, discourtesy, disorder, disorderliness, disorderly conduct, disruption, disruptiveness, dummy, evil, evil courses, evildoing, executive officer, exponent, failing, failure, fault, feloniousness, figurehead, flaw, foible, for, frailty, frowned-upon behavior, hooliganism, horseplay, ill, immorality, imperfection, impropriety, in behalf of, in lieu of, in place of, in preference to, indecency, infirmity, iniquity, lawbreaking, licentiousness, lieutenant, locum, locum tenens, malfeasance, malpractice, malversation, misbehavior, misconduct, misdemeanor, misdoing, misfeasance, misprision, misprision of treason, moral flaw, naughtiness, nonsanctioned behavior, on behalf of, paranymph, perversion, pinch hitter, pleader, positive misprision, procurator, profligacy, proxy, replacing, representative, rot, roughhouse, rowdiness, rowdyism, ruffianism, second in command, secondary, shortcoming, sin, sinfulness, squalor, stand-in, substitute, surrogate, thou scarlet sin, transgression, unchastity, understudy, utility man, vandalism, venality, venial sin, vicar, vicar general, vicegerent, viciousness, villainy, weak point, weak side, weakness, wickedness, wrong, wrong conduct, wrongdoing