vicious indulgence

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bluton

Banned
French - France
I was going through the entry for "luxury" in the Oxford English Dictionary. The etymology section said:

[a. OF. luxurie, ad. L. luxuria, f. luxu-s abundance, sumptuous enjoyment. Cf. F. luxure (whence luxure), Sp. lujúria, It. lussuria.
In Lat. and in the Rom. langs. the word connotes vicious indulgence, the neutral senses of the Eng. ‘luxury’ being expressed by L. luxus, F. luxe, Sp. lujo, It. lusso.]

What does "vicious indulgence" mean? I know that "vicious" means "cruel and violent" or "very dangerous", but that doesn't make any sense here!
 
  • bluton

    Banned
    French - France
    Thank you! But it's really strange that Merriam-Webster gives four definitions, none of which corresponds to what you said:

    1. 1: very dangerous a vicious dog

    2. 2: filled with or showing unkind feelings vicious gossip

    3. 3: violent and cruel a vicious attack

    4. 4: very severe a vicious storm
     

    Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    It is an older use of the word and may not appear in all dictionaries. Famously, Jane Austen used it in Pride and Prejudice when Jane Benneyt said of Mr. Collins, "He is not vicious." She meant that he had no vices, not that he was not violent or dangerous.

    If you check the WR dictionary, you'll see this definition from the Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English:

    addicted to or characterized by vice; grossly immoral; depraved; profligate:a vicious life.
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    The L part of the OED hasn't been revised in about a hundred years, and they will have used older language when writing that.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Word Origin and History for vicious
    adj.
    early 14c. (implied in viciously), "of the nature of vice, wicked," from Anglo-French vicious, Old French vicieus, from Latin vitiosus "faulty, defective, corrupt," from vitium "fault". The 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. Inlaw, "marred by some inherent fault" (late 14c.), hence also this sense in logic (c.1600); cf. 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.
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    The first edition of the OED was published over a long time. They started with A in 1885 and got to Z in 1921. For the third edition, purely on the Internet (not a paper book), they started revising at M in 2000, and haven't finished. So most definitions for words beginning with L probably appeared around 1900, and have not yet been revised.
     
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