top of page



How to pronounce vicarious (audio)


Monster Trucks in Space

Dictionary definition of vicarious

Experiencing something through the actions or feelings of another person, rather than experiencing it directly.
"He felt a vicarious thrill of victory as he watched his brother accept his Olympic medal."


Detailed meaning of vicarious

It suggests that one is able to understand or relate to something through the actions or emotions of another person. For example, "She felt a vicarious sense of triumph as she watched her team win the championship," means that she experienced the sense of triumph through her team winning, without being directly involved in the event.

Vicarious can also refer to a form of learning or education where one learns through the experiences of others. For example, "He learned about war through vicarious accounts and documentaries," means that he learned about war by watching or reading about other people's experiences, rather than experiencing it himself.

In psychology, vicarious learning and vicarious reinforcement are often studied as a way of understanding how people learn and are influenced by the behaviors of others.

In general, Vicarious refers to experiencing something through the actions or feelings of another person, rather than experiencing it directly, and it can be used in various contexts like learning, education, psychology and emotions.

Example sentences containing vicarious

1. She experienced a sense of vicarious excitement through her favorite sports team.
2. The reader was able to experience the protagonist's journey vicariously through the book.
3. He felt a vicarious sense of satisfaction from his friend's success.
4. The movie provided a vicarious escape from reality for the audience.
5. The spectator enjoyed a vicarious thrill from watching the daredevil's stunt.
6. The volunteer felt a vicarious sense of fulfillment from helping others.

History and etymology of vicarious

The adjective 'vicarious' traces its etymological roots to Latin. It is derived from the Latin word 'vicarius,' which means 'substitute' or 'deputy.' 'Vicarius' is formed from 'vicis,' meaning 'change' or 'alternation,' and the suffix '-arius,' denoting 'related to' or 'pertaining to.' Therefore, the etymology of 'vicarious' underscores its essence as experiencing something through the actions or feelings of another person, rather than experiencing it directly. It carries the idea of acting as a substitute or experiencing something in an indirect manner, as reflected in its linguistic heritage.

Quiz: Find the meaning of vicarious

Try Again!


Further usage examples of vicarious

1. The traveler enjoyed a vicarious taste of different cultures through food.
2. The teacher felt a vicarious sense of pride from their students' accomplishments.
3. The virtual reality experience allowed for a vicarious exploration of new places.
4. The photographer captured a vicarious moment in time through her lens.
5. The gamer experienced a vicarious adventure through the video game.
6. The therapist provided a vicarious outlet for clients to express their emotions.
7. Reading allows us to have vicarious adventures through the characters.
8. Watching his excitement was a vicarious thrill.
9. Travel documentaries offer a vicarious exploration of the world.
10. Parents often experience vicarious joy through their children's accomplishments.
11. Through his storytelling, he provides a vicarious glimpse into other cultures.
12. The vicarious pain of watching a loved one suffer is hard to bear.
13. She enjoyed the vicarious thrill of watching extreme sports.
14. Books offer a vicarious escape to different time periods.
15. The movie provided a vicarious experience of space exploration.
16. Friends share in the vicarious excitement of each other's successes.
17. Playing video games can be a source of vicarious adventure.
18. The documentary offers a vicarious look into the lives of wildlife photographers.
19. Literature offers the vicarious experience of walking in someone else's shoes.
20. Witnessing his bravery gave her a sense of vicarious courage.
21. Through art, we can have a vicarious connection with the artist's emotions.
22. The photographer's images allowed for a vicarious journey around the world.
23. Music can provide a vicarious experience of love, heartbreak, and joy.
24. The movie's gripping plot allowed for a vicarious sense of danger.
25. A well-written biography offers a vicarious glimpse into a famous life.
26. Friends often share vicarious memories of adventures and experiences.



surrogate, direct, primary, firsthand


GRE 2 (Graduate Record Examination), Emotional Intensity and Reactions, Empathy and Compassion

bottom of page