Adjective; characterized by or full of viciousness or cruelty


US English

UK English

Part of speech



cruel, malicious, malevolent, vicious, spiteful, hateful, vicious, nasty, aggressive


kind, compassionate, gentle, merciful, humane, benign, good-natured

Example sentences

  • The vicious dog barked and growled at everyone who came near.
  • The criminal had a vicious streak and was known to be dangerous.
  • The vicious storm caused widespread destruction and left many people homeless.


The word “vicious” is used to describe something that is characterized by cruelty or harmful intent. This word can be used to describe a person, animal, or thing that is intentionally harmful, such as a vicious criminal or a vicious dog. In the animal kingdom, the term is often used to describe creatures with a reputation for being aggressive and dangerous, such as snakes, lions, or sharks. In a more abstract sense, the word can be used to describe things like vicious rumors or vicious attacks. The word “vicious” is often used as a synonym for “cruel” or “malicious”, implying that the person or thing described is intentionally causing harm. In contrast, the antonyms of “vicious” would be words like “kind” or “compassionate”, implying a lack of intention to cause harm