[vice] n [ME, fr. OF, fr. L vitium fault, vice] (14c) 1 a: moral depravity or corruption: wickedness b: a moral fault or failing c: a habitual and usu. trivial defect or shortcoming: foible "suffered from the ~ of curiosity"
2: blemish, defect
3: a physical imperfection, deformity, or taint
4. a often cap: a character representing one of the vices in an English morality play b: buffoon, jester
5: an abnormal behavior pattern in a domestic animal detrimental to its health or usefulness
6: sexual immorality; esp: prostitution syn see fault, offense
vice chiefly Brit var of vise vice prep [L, abl. of vicis change, alternation, stead--more at week] (1770): in the place of "I will preside, ~ the absent chairman"; also: rather than