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

Examples of eroticism in a Sentence

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

Recent Examples on the Web

But there’s also an undeniable eroticism to youth (duh), hence why the schoolgirl/boy gets its own chapter in the book of pervy cliches. Karley Sciortino, Vogue, "Why Dating Someone Older Isn’t Always Such a Bad Idea," 17 Aug. 2018 But Wicker Man still built a significant reputation over the years, based on word of mouth about its frank eroticism, building dread, and unforgettable ending. Tasha Robinson, The Verge, "Netflix’s Apostle takes The Wicker Man to a radical new level," 12 Oct. 2018 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

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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Statistics for eroticism

Last Updated

3 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for eroticism

The first known use of eroticism was in 1881

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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 \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on eroticism

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with eroticism

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for eroticism

Spanish Central: Translation of eroticism

Nglish: Translation of eroticism for Spanish Speakers

Comments on eroticism

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a soft lustrous wool fabric with mohair

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