VICE, n. [L. vitium.]

1. Properly, a spot or defect; a fault; a blemish; as the vices of a political constitution.

2. In ethics, any voluntary action or course of conduct which deviates from the rules of moral rectitude, or from the plain rules of propriety; any moral unfitness of conduct, either from defect of duty, or from the transgression of known principles of rectitude. Vice differs from crime, in being less enormous. We never call murder or robbery a vice; but every act of intemperance, all falsehood, duplicity, deception, lewdness and the like, is a vice. The excessive indulgence of passions and appetites which in themselves are innocent, is a vice. The smoking of tobacco and the taking of snuff, may in certain cases be innocent and even useful, but these practices may be carried to such an excess as to become vices. This word is also used to denote a habit of transgressing; as a life of vice. Vice is rarely a solitary invader; it usually brings with it a frightful train of followers.

3. Depravity or corruption of manners; as an age of vice.

When vice prevails, and impious men bear sway.

The post of honor is a private station.

4. A fault or bad trick in a horse.

5. The fool or punchinello of old shows.

His face made of brass, like a vice in a game.

6. An iron press. [This should be written vise.]

7. A gripe or grasp. [Not in use.]

VICE, v.t. To draw by a kind of violence. [Not in use. See Vise.]

VICE, L. vice, in the turn or place, is used in composition to denote one qui vicem gerit, who acts in the place of another, or is second in authority.