erot·i·cism | \i-ˈrä-tə-ˌsi-zəm \

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 \ noun

Synonyms for eroticism


ardor, lust, lustfulness, passion

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Examples of eroticism in a Sentence

the subtle eroticism of his films an actress known for her smoldering eroticism

Recent Examples on the Web

The film's didacticism can be heavy-handed, but as usual LaBruce leavens it with humor and eroticism. Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader, "Lesbian revolutionaries smash sexual taboos to undermine the patriarchy in Bruce LaBruce's The Misandrists," 6 July 2018 The museum is standing by the artist, saying the performance is not about eroticism, and that the girl participated under her mother's supervision. Houston Chronicle, "On the go: Pub crawls and Vince Young signs autographs," 3 July 2018 Her art has thrived, in part, on a physical candor that both shocked people and redrew the boundaries of taste, beauty and eroticism around her masculinity, ebony skin and unrelenting intensity. Wesley Morris, New York Times, "Review: ‘Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami’ Finds the Model, Singer, Actress, Person," 12 Apr. 2018 His physical presence is slightly dazzling, unnerving, with a subversive, greased-by-eroticism effect. James Parker, The Atlantic, "The Wisdom of Russell Brand," 10 June 2018 His marble statues of mythological heroes were celebrated for the perfection of their poised athleticism, his female and amatory groups admired for their refined eroticism and emotional tenderness. Barrymore Laurence Scherer, WSJ, "‘Canova’s George Washington’ Review: The Very Model of a Lost Masterpiece," 9 June 2018 Salonen brought out the unabashed eroticism and sensuality of the Richard Dehmel poem that inspired Schoenberg’s tone poem. John Von Rhein,, "Esa-Pekka Salonen wraps up CSO residency with an intense 'Transfigured Night'," 25 May 2018 Yet, there also is an uneasy eroticism, more startling than directly arousing, but which still dangerously pulls the audience to the characters. Theodore P. Mahne,, "Intense production makes rare staging of Genet's 'The Maids' a standout," 1 June 2018 The film’s pervasive eroticism and nudity may raise interest in some quarters. Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The Great Mystical Circus' ('O Grande Circo Mistico'): Film Review | Cannes 2018," 13 May 2018

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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The first known use of eroticism was in 1881

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English Language Learners Definition of eroticism

: a quality that causes sexual feelings


erot·i·cism | \i-ˈrät-ə-ˌsiz-əm \

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

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Comments on eroticism

What made you want to look up eroticism? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to reject or criticize sharply

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