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Formed from Latin vituperātiō (a blaming, censuring).


  • (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /vɪˈtjuːpɹətɪv/, /vaɪˈtjuːpɹətɪv/
  • (US) IPA(key): /vɪˈtuːpɚətɪv/, /vaɪˈtuːpɚətɪv/
  • (file)


vituperative (comparative more vituperative, superlative most vituperative)

  1. Marked by harsh, spoken, or written abuse; abusive, often with ranting or railing.
    • 1759, Laurence Sterne, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, Volume I, Chapter 19,[1]
      [] ten times in a day calling the child of his prayers TRISTRAM!—Melancholy dissyllable of sound! which, to his ears, was unison to Nincompoop, and every name vituperative under heaven.
    • 1792, Robert Bage, Man As He Is, London: William Lane, Volume 3, Chapter 81, p. 257,[2]
      [] Lady Mary saw as clearly into the bodies, and I believe souls, of every servant who approached her, as if they had been cased in chrystal. And she saw so many foulnesses there, and so many aberrations, that Lady Mary’s language was almost wholly moral and vituperative.
    • 1875, William Gifford, footnote to Act IV, Scene 2 of Every Man in His Humour in The Works of Ben Jonson, London: Bickers & Son, Volume I, p. 106,[3]
      [] our ancestors, who were not very delicate, nor, generally speaking, much overburthened with respect for the feelings of foreigners, had a number of vituperative appellations derived from their real or supposed ill qualities, of many of which the precise import cannot now be ascertained.
    • 1928, Giles Lytton Strachey, Elizabeth and Essex, New York: Harcourt, Brace, Chapter 9, p. 144,[4]
      [] she [] proceeded, without a pause, to pour out a rolling flood of vituperative Latin, in which reproof, indignation, and sarcastic pleasantries followed one another with astonishing volubility.
    • 2008, Jeffrey St. Clair, “Last Stand in the Big Woods,” CounterPunch, 16 August, 2008,[5]
      The injunction also became a pretext for yet another round of vituperative cant from Idaho’s reactionary congressional delegation.


Related terms[edit]





vituperative f pl

  1. feminine plural of vituperativo