Cultural Watch

turpitude – Word of the Day


Turpitude / TUR-pi-tood, -tyood / noun


1. vile, shameful, or base character; depravity.
2. a vile or depraved act.


He would, perhaps, argue that, though abstract Right is absolute and unchangeable, the alternative Wrong, though never shading down into Right, varies immeasurably in degree of turpitude …
— Joseph Furphy, Such Is Life, 1903


Turpitude finds its roots in the Latin term turpis meaning “base, vile.” It entered English in the late 1400s.

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