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Webster 1913 Edition


Vitiate

Vi′ti-ate

,
Verb.
T.
[
imp. & p. p.
Vitiated
;
p. pr. & vb. n.
Vitiating
.]
[L.
vitiatus
, p. p.
vitiare
to vitiate, fr.
vitium
a fault, vice. See
Vice
a fault.]
[Written also
viciate
.]
1.
To make vicious, faulty, or imperfect; to render defective; to injure the substance or qualities of; to impair; to contaminate; to spoil;
as, exaggeration
vitiates
a style of writing; sewer gas
vitiates
the air.
A will
vitiated
and growth out of love with the truth disposes the understanding to error and delusion.
South.
Without care it may be used to
vitiate
our minds.
Burke.
This undistinguishing complaisance will
vitiate
the taste of readers.
Garth.
2.
To cause to fail of effect, either wholly or in part; to make void; to destroy, as the validity or binding force of an instrument or transaction; to annul;
as, any undue influence exerted on a jury
vitiates
their verdict; fraud
vitiates
a contract
.

Webster 1828 Edition


Vitiate

VI'TIATE

,
Verb.
T.
[L. vitio. See vice and Viciate.]
1.
To injure the substance or qualities of a thing, so as to impair or spoil its use and value. Thus we say, luxury vitiates the humors of the body; evil examples vitiate the morals of youth; language is vitiated by foreign idioms.
This undistinguishing complaisance will vitiate the taste of readers.
2.
To render defective; to destroy; as the validity or binding force of an instrument or transaction. Any undue influence exerted on a jury vitiates their verdict. Fraud vitiates a contract.

Definition 2022


vitiate

vitiate

English

Verb

vitiate (third-person singular simple present vitiates, present participle vitiating, simple past and past participle vitiated)

  1. (transitive) to spoil, make faulty; to reduce the value, quality, or effectiveness of something
    • 1851, Herman Melville, Moby Dick, chapter 12
      There was excellent blood in his veins—royal stuff; though sadly vitiated, I fear, by the cannibal propensity he nourished in his untutored youth.
    • 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. (transitive) to debase or morally corrupt
    • 1890, Leo Tolstoy, The Slavery of Our Times
      The robber does not intentionally vitiate people, but the governments, to accomplish their ends, vitiate whole generations from childhood to manhood with false religions and patriotic instruction.
  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. (transitive) to make something ineffective, to invalidate
    • 1734, William Stukeley, Of the Gout, page 78:
      ...all the hinges of the animal frame are subverted, every animal function is vitiated; the carcass retains but just life enough to make it capable of suffering.

Related terms

Translations


Latin

Verb

vitiāte

  1. first-person plural present active imperative of vitiō