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Vice

Vice is the opposite of Virtue. The modern English 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".

One 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 apostasy (nonuse of piety), lust (nonuse of temperance), cowardice (nonuse of courage), folly (misuse of an virtue, opposite of wisdom) and venality (nonuse of justice).

The Christian vices would be blasphemy (faith betrayed), unforgiveness[?] (hope betrayed), and indifference[?] (scripturally, a "hardened heart[?]"), the betrayal of perfect love: charity.

Since virtues harmonise, so that every virtue requires all the virtues to some extent, vices also harmonize. Every vice requires other vices to some extent.

Therefore, one of the surest, simplest ways to recognize a vicious person is by their numerous small "inconsequential" vices.

The term vice is also popularly applied to various bad habits, alcohol and other drugs, sexual promiscuity, gambling, and other reckless misbehavior, as well as personal corruption, such as cheating, lying, and small-minded self-indulgence. Related Topics


Vice is also a prefix meaning "deputy". For example, Vice President means the deputy president. This is from the Latin word vice, meaning "in place of".


A Vice (or vise) is a mechanical screw apparatus used for clamping or holding. In this sense, the word comes from the Latin word vitis for "vine", referring to the spiral tendrils of the vine.

All etymologies according to the Oxford English Dictionary.



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