I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue. [Barry Goldwater (1909-1998), acceptance speech as Republican candidate for President, 1963]
c. 1300, "any infectious or contagious disease, fatal epidemic," from Old French pestilence "plague, epidemic" (12c.) and directly from Latin pestilentia "a plague, an unwholesome atmosphere," noun of condition from pestilentem (nominative pestilens) "infected, unwholesome, noxious," from pestis "deadly disease, plague" (see pest).
Also in Middle English "wickedness, evil, sin, a vice, that which is morally pestilential."
"in which smoking is not permitted," 1905; the sign wording itself is attested by 1817.
Smoking is a vice to [sic] — and a national one, of such magnitude that railroad corporations throughout all their routes in the United States, have a special command in large letters, conspicuously placed at depots and inside of the cars — "No smoking allowed here." ["The Sailor's Magazine," December 1840]
"apply medicinal or sacramental ointment to," Middle English salven, from Old English sealfian "anoint (a wound) with salve," from Proto-Germanic *salbojanan (source also of Dutch zalven, Old Frisian salva, German salben, Gothic salbon "to anoint"), from the root of salve (n.).
Figurative use is by late 12c. in reference to sin or vice; the non-religious sense of "to help, remedy, atone for" is by 1570s. Related: Salved; salving.
mid-14c., detraccioun, "the vice of slandering;" late 14c., "act of disparaging or belittling, act of depreciating the powers or performance of another;" from Old French detraccion "detraction, disparagement, denigration" (12c.) and directly from Latin detractionem (nominative detractio) "a drawing off," from past-participle stem of detrahere "take down, pull down, disparage," from de "down" (see de-) + trahere "to pull" (see tract (n.1)).
1905, from Anthony Comstock (1844-1915), founder of New York Society for the Suppression of Vice (1873) and self-appointed crusader against immorality, + -ery. Coined by George Bernard Shaw after Comstock objected to "Mrs. Warren's Profession." "Comstockery is the world's standing joke at the expense of the United States" [Shaw, New York Times, Sept. 26, 1905]. The Comstock lode, silver vein in Nevada, was discovered 1859 and first worked by U.S. prospector Henry T.P. Comstock (1820-1870), apparently unrelated to Anthony.
"food" for anything, "food" in its widest sense, "that which nourishes an animal or vegetable," 1670s, from Latin pabulum "fodder, food, nourishment," from PIE root *pa- "to feed" + instrumentive suffix *-dhlom. Related Pabular; pabulary; pabulous.
Pablum (1932), derived from this, is a trademark (Mead Johnson & Co.) for a soft, bland cereal used as a food for infants and weak and invalid persons, hence its figurative use (attested from 1970, first by U.S. Vice President Spiro Agnew) in reference to "mushy" political prose.
For the vowel change in the Latin compound, see acquisition. Meaning "evil, wickedness" is from late 14c. Old Iniquity (1610s) was a comic or buffoonish character in old morality plays, representing vice.