expletive


1ex·ple·tive

noun \ˈek-splə-tiv\

: a word or phrase (such as “Damn it!”) that people sometimes say when they are angry or in pain; especially : one that is offensive

Full Definition of EXPLETIVE

1
a :  a syllable, word, or phrase inserted to fill a vacancy (as in a sentence or a metrical line) without adding to the sense; especially :  a word (as it in make it clear which you prefer) that occupies the position of the subject or object of a verb in normal English word order and anticipates a subsequent word or phrase that supplies the needed meaningful content
b :  an exclamatory word or phrase; especially :  one that is obscene or profane
2
:  one that serves to fill out or as a filling

Examples of EXPLETIVE

  1. Angry expletives filled the air.
  2. Expletives were deleted from the transcript of their conversation.

First Known Use of EXPLETIVE

1612

Other Grammar and Linguistics Terms

ablaut, allusion, anacoluthon, diacritic, gerund, idiom, infinitive, metaphor, semiotics, simile

2expletive

adjective

Definition of EXPLETIVE

1
:  serving to fill up <expletive phrases>
2
:  marked by the use of expletives

Origin of EXPLETIVE

Late Latin expletivus, from Latin expletus, past participle of explēre to fill out, from ex- + plēre to fill — more at full
First Known Use: 1666

Other Grammar and Linguistics Terms

ablaut, allusion, anacoluthon, diacritic, gerund, idiom, infinitive, metaphor, semiotics, simile

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