I want to express the concept of a crowd of people with wrong idea of good and bad things (like people from some classical books who make principal characters abandon their love and so on). Can I use the expression perverse crowd or deviant crowd. I feel that something is wrong, because these words are usually used to refer to something sexually abnormal? What is a right adjective to use?


Go ahead and use perverse. OED:

1.a. Of a person, action, etc.: going or disposed to go against what is reasonable, logical, expected, or required; contrary, fickle, irrational.
. . .
3. Obstinate, stubborn, or persistent in what is unreasonable, foolish, or wrong; remaining set in a course of action in spite of the consequences.

Yes, there is also this:

5 That is (regarded as) sexually perverted.

But sexual meanings and applications of a word need not always utterly swallow up all others.


To denote people without morals, use amoral

To denote people who have other ideas about things than the majority, you could use aberrant

  • Well, I don't think that it suits here, because this crowd has its moral, the problem is that their moral is hypocritical. So I want to give them some delicate adjective. – BukvaCe Jun 20 '14 at 9:43
  • @BukvaCe - Not having a moral would be immoral. Amoral means acting against a moral. While following their own, they can very well go against the moral standards or your audience, which is often meant by amoral. – oerkelens Jun 20 '14 at 12:59

How about the word "corrupt"? But I would suggest that it is not the crowd that is corrupt, but the members of the crowd, and since all three terms ("corrupt", "perverse", and "deviant") have personal connotations to at least some degree, I would use a construction such as "the people of the crowd were corrupt / deviant / perverse".


When the words you listed are used without qualification, it's often to denote sexual preferences. But if you specify explicitly the nature of their deviation, or the context of the discussion makes it clear, this connotation no longer applies.

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