AskDefine | Define vitiate

Dictionary Definition

vitiate

Verb

1 corrupt morally or by intemperance or sensuality; "debauch the young people with wine and women"; "Socrates was accused of corrupting young men"; "Do school counselors subvert young children?"; "corrupt the morals" [syn: corrupt, pervert, subvert, demoralize, demoralise, debauch, debase, profane, deprave, misdirect]
2 make imperfect; "nothing marred her beauty" [syn: mar, impair, spoil, deflower]
3 take away the legal force of or render ineffective; "invalidateas a contract" [syn: invalidate, void] [ant: validate]

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Etymology

From the past participle stem of Latin vitiare, from vitium ‘vice’.

Pronunciation

  • /'vɪʃi:eɪt/

Verb

  1. to spoil, make faulty; to reduce the value, quality, or effectiveness of something
    • 1997: ‘Mr Rose,’ says the Physician, ‘this man was brought to us from Russia. Precisely such a case of vitiated judgment as I describe at length in my Treatise on Madness. Mayhap you have read it?’ — Andrew Miller, Ingenious Pain
  2. to debase or morally corrupt
  3. transitive archaic to violate, to rape
    • 1965: ‘Crush the cockatrice,’ he groaned, from his death-cell. ‘I am dead in law’ – but of the girl he denied that he had ‘attempted to vitiate her at Nine years old’; for ‘upon the word of a dying man, both her Eyes did see, and her Hands did act in all that was done’. — John Fowles, The Magus
  4. to make something ineffective, to invalidate

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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