Definition of vice noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//vaɪs//
    ; NAmE NAmE//vaɪs//
    jump to other results
  1. 1[uncountable] criminal activities that involve sex or drugs plain-clothes detectives from the vice squad
  2. 2[uncountable, countable] evil or immoral behaviour; an evil or immoral quality in somebody’s character The film ended most satisfactorily: vice punished and virtue rewarded. Greed is a terrible vice. (humorous) Cigarettes are my only vice. See related entries: Immoral
  3. 3 (especially British English) (usually North American English vise) [countable] a tool with two metal blocks that can be moved together by turning a screw. The vice is used to hold an object firmly while work is done on it. He held my arm in a vice-like (= very firm) grip.
  4. Word Originsenses 1 to 2 Middle English: via Old French from Latin vitium.sense 3 Middle English (denoting a screw or winch): from Old French vis, from Latin vitis ‘vine’.Extra examples He used his inheritance to indulge his vices of drinking and gambling. At the door were two plain-clothes detectives from the vice squad. Of his many vices, his cruelty was the worst. She often spends a fortune on clothes—it’s her greatest vice. The bright 21-year-old turned to a secret life of vice after getting bored with her studies at college. The occasional cigar is my only vice.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: vice