- 1violent and cruel synonym brutal a vicious attack a vicious criminal She has a vicious temper.
- 2(of animals) aggressive and dangerous a vicious dog
- 3(of an attack, criticism, etc.) full of hatred and anger She wrote me a vicious letter. The newspapers launched a vicious attack on him, forcing him to resign.
- 4(informal) very bad or severe a vicious headache a vicious spiral of rising prices
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noun [uncountable] Police were shocked by the viciousness of the assault.