erot·​i·​cism | \ i-ˈrä-tə-ˌsi-zəm How to pronounce eroticism (audio) \

Definition of eroticism

1 : an erotic theme or quality
2 : a state of sexual arousal
3 : insistent sexual impulse or desire

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Other Words from eroticism

eroticist \ i-​ˈrä-​tə-​sist How to pronounce eroticism (audio) \ noun

Examples of eroticism in a Sentence

the subtle eroticism of his films an actress known for her smoldering eroticism
Recent Examples on the Web As the titular space traveler, Fonda rocked some cosmically mod looks, while also leaning fully into the script’s eroticism. Maureen Lee Lenker,, "Jane Fonda's best 20 performances," 23 Feb. 2021 The final scene has it all: the eroticism of Jerry’s cigarette; the grace note of dialogue that is both melancholy and romantic; a final image that harkens to the emotional expansiveness of the story. Alison Willmore, Vulture, "The 101 Greatest Endings in Movies History," 22 Feb. 2021 That idea leaves little space for Mary and Charlotte’s erotic relationship to exist as part of the very tensions inherent to the restrictive culture of the nineteenth century: the eroticism of the unsaid, the repressed fantasy that only grows. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "How The Dig and Ammonite Fetishize British-ness," 27 Jan. 2021 And the acts of violence flavor the eroticism with a sadomasochistic tang. New York Times, "The Lusty Creativity of Cornelis Cornelisz von Haarlem," 13 Jan. 2021 My Baby First Birthday and the detached eroticism of Melissa Broder's Last Sext, but also a literary uniqueness that discourages comparison. Chloe Schama, Vogue, "The Best Books Vogue Editors Read in 2020," 24 Dec. 2020 My Baby First Birthday and the detached eroticism of Melissa Broder's Last Sext, but another gift of Hood's is a literary uniqueness that discourages comparison. Emma Specter, Vogue, "In Her New Book, Writer Jamie Hood Explores "The Frailty of the Good Girl"," 1 Dec. 2020 At first, the reader suspects Lucian of incestuous desire for his sister, but Irwin — though never wholly dispelling an air of eroticism in their relationship — gradually makes clear that Juliana is needed for an even darker purpose. Michael Dirda, Washington Post, "First published in 1924, ‘Still She Wished for Company’ makes for a delicious, if bittersweet Valentine’s Day treat," 12 Feb. 2020 The lyric sound of the soprano Annemarie Kremer is well suited to the title role — and the orchestra likewise revels in the opera’s eroticism. New York Times, "We’re Stuck at Home, but Let’s Still Be Cultured," 19 Mar. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'eroticism.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of eroticism

1881, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for eroticism

Time Traveler

The first known use of eroticism was in 1881

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Statistics for eroticism

Last Updated

28 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Eroticism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for eroticism



English Language Learners Definition of eroticism

: a quality that causes sexual feelings


erot·​i·​cism | \ i-ˈrät-ə-ˌsiz-əm How to pronounce eroticism (audio) \

Medical Definition of eroticism

1 : the arousal of or the attempt to arouse sexual feeling by means of suggestion, symbolism, or allusion (as in an art form)
2 : a state of sexual arousal or anticipation (as from stimulation of erogenous zones)
3 : insistent sexual impulse or desire

More from Merriam-Webster on eroticism

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for eroticism

Nglish: Translation of eroticism for Spanish Speakers

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