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vicious (adj.)

late 14c., "unwholesome, impure, of the nature of vice, wicked, corrupting, pernicious, harmful;" of a text, "erroneous, corrupt," from Anglo-French vicious, Old French vicios "wicked, cunning, underhand; defective, illegal" (Modern French vicieux), from Latin vitiosus (Medieval Latin vicious) "faulty, full of faults, defective, corrupt; wicked, depraved," from vitium "fault" (see vice (n.1)).

Meaning "inclined to be savage or dangerous" is first recorded 1711 (originally of animals, especially horses); that of "full of spite, bitter, severe" is from 1825. In law, "marred by some inherent fault" (late 14c.), hence also this sense in logic (c. 1600), as in vicious circle in reasoning (c. 1792, Latin circulus vitiosus), which was given a general sense of "a situation in which action and reaction intensify one another" by 1839. Related: Viciously (mid-14c., "sinfully"); viciousness.

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Definitions of vicious from WordNet

vicious (adj.)
(of persons or their actions) able or disposed to inflict pain or suffering;
vicious kicks
Synonyms: barbarous / brutal / cruel / fell / roughshod / savage
vicious (adj.)
having the nature of vice;
Synonyms: evil
vicious (adj.)
bringing or deserving severe rebuke or censure;
Synonyms: condemnable / criminal / deplorable / reprehensible
vicious (adj.)
marked by deep ill will; deliberately harmful;
vicious gossip
Synonyms: poisonous / venomous
From wordnet.princeton.edu