Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Depravity; baseness.
  • n. A base act.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Inherent baseness, depravity or wickedness; corruptness and evilness.
  • n. An act evident of such a depravity.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Inherent baseness or vileness of principle, words, or actions; shameful wickedness; depravity.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Inherent baseness or vileness; shameful wickedness; depravity.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a corrupt or depraved or degenerate act or practice

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French, from Latin turpitūdō, from turpis, shameful.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin turpitūdō ("baseness, infamy"), from turpis ("foul, base"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Here there has just taken place a "raid" rivalling in turpitude and impudence the famous deed of Bennett Young.

    Echoes of the Week

  • Well they've certainly changed enormously — I mean, people can live together now without it being called moral turpitude, which is a big step.

    ‘I’m Always In Love’

  • Going further into the letter to Sheen's attorneys, Bloom also explained the term "moral turpitude."

    Breaking News: CBS News

  • Neither "turpitude" nor "quotidian" get a mention in my little English-French dictionary.

    Phyllis Stine Gets a Job!

  • In fact, except Oliver Cromwell, King William, a few gentlemen who had the misfortune to be executed or exiled for high treason, and every dissenting minister that he has or can find occasion to notice, there are hardly any persons mentioned who are not stigmatized as knaves or fools, differing only in degrees of "turpitude" and "imbecility".

    Famous Reviews

  • When we come to declaring opinions that are, however foolishly and unreasonably, associated with pain and even a kind of turpitude in the minds of those who strongly object to them, then some of our most powerful sympathies are naturally engaged.

    On Compromise

  • Yet that's exactly what the federal government is trying to do, citing his record and "turpitude" as the legal grounds on which he should be removed from the country.

    Thestar.com - Home Page

  • For, as Aristotle says rightly, the moving of laughter is a fault in comedy, a kind of turpitude that depraves some part of a man's nature without a disease.

    Discoveries Made Upon Men and Matter and Some Poems

  • In the 1940s, the Court ruled that the right to procreate is a fundamental right and declared unconstitutional an Oklahoma law that required the sterilization of those convicted three times of crimes involving moral turpitude.

    The Conservative Assault on the Constitution

  • Warner Bros. said it was terminating Sheen because there is "ample evidence" that he has committed "felony offenses involving moral turpitude including but not limited to furnishing of cocaine to others as part of the self-destructive lifestyle he has described publicly," which have interfered with Sheen's ability to fulfill terms of his contract and which give the studio "the right to treat such as a default" on his contract.

    Charlie Sheen fired from 'Two and a Half Men' for 'self destructive conduct'

Comments

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  • "So then: these were Srenki, men whose virtue was the excess of vice, who with leaden zest performed quintessential evil and so redeemed their fellows from turpitude."
    Jack Vance, The Domains of Koryphon

    August 2, 2008

  • And for some reason always associated in my mind with torpor as if one state somehow leads to the other. Perhaps in a way they do – to quote my mother, 'The Devil always finds work for idle hands.'

    March 19, 2008

  • an impressive sounding word, perfect for the passing of (superior) judgement, especially in the combination moral turpitude

    March 19, 2008

  • typically paired with moral.

    September 18, 2007

  • inherent baseness

    September 16, 2007

  • Brings to mind turpentine.

    March 27, 2007