BDSM

abbreviation or noun

: sexual activity involving such practices as the use of physical restraints, the granting and relinquishing of control, and the infliction of pain
He provided a vivid insight into the life of a dedicated follower of bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism (BDSM) as he gave evidence to his trial at Guildford Crown Court.Sam Marsden
BDSM refers to a range of sexual preferences that generally relate to enjoyment of physical control, psychological control, and/or pain.Ali Hebert and Angela Weaver
Whatever one thinks of BDSM, given the pain and intensity associated with it, it certainly doesn't come across as a stress-reducing activity—to most outsiders, there wouldn't appear to be anything relaxing about whips and handcuffs.Roni Jacobson
BDSM communities have been quick to distance themselves from Fifty Shades, and, indeed, from any beliefs or behaviours incompatible with informed, enthusiastic and uncoerced consent.Emer O'Toole

Examples of BDSM in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The franchise follows inexperienced college graduate Anastasia Steele and broody businessman Christian Grey, who introduces her to the world of BDSM. Shania Russell, EW.com, 17 July 2023 Not your mom’s speed dating: From tantra to BDSM, there’s something for everyone in L.A. HBCUs brace for flood of applications after Supreme Court affirmative action decision. Kevinisha Walker, Los Angeles Times, 23 Sep. 2023 My mother once wrote that some desires of domination, for instance, might be a learned coping mechanism for dealing with pervasive misogyny—which is similar to the recasting involved in BDSM, where the person ostensibly being dominated is actually controlling the whole scenario. Hazlitt, 9 Aug. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'BDSM.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

bondage, discipline, sadism, masochism

Note: The d and s have also been taken to stand for dominance and submission.

First Known Use

1991, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of BDSM was in 1991

Dictionary Entries Near BDSM

Cite this Entry

“BDSM.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/BDSM. Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

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