Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
From Latin vicārius "vicarious, substituted"
vicarious (not comparable)
- Experienced or gained by the loss or to the consequence of another, such as through watching or reading.
- People experience vicarious pleasures through watching television.
- Done on behalf of others
- The concept of vicarious atonement, that one person can atone for the sins of another, is found in many religions.
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- 1886 — Robert Louis Stevenson, Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde ch 10
- The pleasures which I made haste to seek in my disguise were, as I have said, undignified; I would scarce use a harder term. But in the hands of Edward Hyde, they soon began to turn toward the monstrous. When I would come back from these excursions, I was often plunged into a kind of wonder at my vicarious depravity.
- 1900 — James Frazer, The Golden Bough ch 26
- As time went on, the cruel custom was so far mitigated that a ram was accepted as a vicarious sacrifice in room of the royal victim.
- 1920 — H. Rider Haggard, The Blue Curtains ch III
- In these, however, he had not much time to indulge, for a footman, still decked in the trappings of vicarious grief, opened the door with the most startling promptitude, and he was ushered upstairs into a small but richly furnished room.
Derived terms 
Experienced or gained by the loss or to the consequence of another
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