De*prav"i*ty(?), n. [From Deprave: cf. L. pravitas crookedness, perverseness.] The state of being depraved or corrupted; a vitiated state of moral character; general badness of character; wickedness of mind or heart; absence of religious feeling and principle.
Total depravity. See Original sin, and Calvinism.
Syn. -- Corruption; vitiation; wickedness; vice; contamination; degeneracy. -- Depravity, Depravation, Corruption. Depravilty is a vitiated state of mind or feeling; as, the depravity of the human heart; depravity of public morals. Depravation points to the act or process of making depraved, and hence to the end thus reached; as, a gradual depravation of principle; a depravation of manners, of the heart, etc. Corruption is the only one of these words which applies to physical substances, and in reference to these denotes the process by which their component parts are dissolved. Hence, when figuratively used, it denotes an utter vitiation of principle or feeling. Depravity applies only to the mind and heart: we can speak of a depraved taste, or a corrupt taste; in the first we introduce the notion that there has been the influence of bad training to pervert; in the second, that there is a want of true principle to pervert; in the second, that there is a want of true principles to decide. The other two words have a wider use: we can speak of the depravation or the corruption of taste and public sentiment. Depravity is more or less open; corruption is more or less disguised in its operations. What is depraved requires to be reformed; what is corrupt requires to be purified.
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