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Vicious vs. viscous

Vicious means (1) evil, immoral, or depraved; (2) spiteful, malicious, (3) aggressive, and (4) severe or intense.

Viscous means having relatively high resistance to flow (think mud or industrial sludge).

Examples

Viscous


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Gallons of the viscous amber fluid have been given to politicians and journalists, as the apiarists of Australia lobby for action against the imminent incursion of Asian bees. [Sydney Morning Herald]

The thick and heavy bitumen, sometimes called tar or tar sands, is too viscous for traditional pipeline transportation. [The Cherokeean Herald]

Once there, it will reduce the viscosity of the thick crude oil residing in the well and allow for easy extraction. [Inhabitat]

Vicious

Minks are vicious carnivores. [NPR]

An ordinance providing for the regulation of vicious and potentially dangerous dogs was introduced on first reading by the township committee this week. [NJ.com]

I defend their right to be vicious and I don’t take it personally anymore, because I see literary viciousness as a dark art that sometimes needs writers as its canvas. [The Guardian]

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