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A definition on Merriam Webster says:

lacking restraint
especially : marked by indulgence in things (such as drink or promiscuous sex)
deemed vices (source)

This definition is a bit confusing, because I am not sure if it means:

marked by indulgence in things and deemed vices

Is that line saying that "deemed vices" is among the things one indulges in? If this is the case, is "deemed vices" a noun phrase here and "deemed" an attributive modifier?

Having checked several dictionary pages on "deem", I haven't found an example of "deemed" + noun. Is "deemed" used as an attributive modifier before a noun? If so what does it mean? "reputed"?

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  • Why the downvote? Can the user who cast the downvote explain please?
    – Eddie Kal
    Commented Dec 25, 2018 at 14:53

1 Answer 1

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Here's the actual definition as it's formatted:

Definition of dissolute

: lacking restraint
especially : marked by indulgence in things (such as drink or promiscuous sex) deemed vices (see VICE entry 1 sense 1)
// leading a dissolute lifestyle
// the dissolute and degrading aspects of human nature
— Wallace Fowlie

This is a single sentence:

marked by indulgence in things (such as drink or promiscuous sex) deemed vices (see VICE entry 1 sense 1)

If you remove the parenthetical information, you end up with this:

marked by indulgence in things deemed vices

There is no and, implied or otherwise.

The meaning of the sentence can be made clearer with a slight rephrasing:

marked by an indulgence in things that are deemed to be vices

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  • And this is a passive voice construction, so even more explicitly, it's "things that people have deemed to be vices". Commented Dec 24, 2018 at 19:31
  • Thank you! I think it's probably a browser alignment issue that causes the line to break up on my computer. deemed vices shows in a separate line on my end, and that's where I was stuck.
    – Eddie Kal
    Commented Dec 25, 2018 at 14:58

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