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 eroticist (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 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 Light bounces off the skin just below his neck, which is also exposed, like his genitals, and the open, almost imploring look on his upturned face combines with these elements to create an effect of tender, expectant eroticism. Sebastian Smee, Washington Post, "John Singer Sargent didn’t just paint the 1 percent. There was another, less-known side to his art.," 6 Mar. 2020 That usually includes domination and unequal power relations that are often considered like a motor for eroticism. Elian Peltier, New York Times, "Adèle Haenel: France ‘Missed the Boat’ on #MeToo," 24 Feb. 2020 These are startling moments, because flamenco, for all its eroticism, does not abide touching. Jennifer Homans, The New Yorker, "Noche Flamenca Gets Deeper with Age," 30 Dec. 2019 Lopez has a knack for the steamier side of things, the eroticism explodes off the page. Maureen Lee Lenker,, "Hot Stuff: Five new romance novels are all about second chances," 3 Nov. 2019 Along the way, as alcohol comes and goes, Lucy Darling keeps up an impressive improvised narrative that constantly dangles on the edge of eroticism without ever tippling into the crude. Chris Jones,, "Here’s a new twist on magic: ‘Lucy Darling’ does tricks with cocktails at Chicago Magic Lounge," 31 Oct. 2019 Just as societies need carnivalesque holidays like Mardi Gras to remain healthy, so music requires regular infusions of Dionysian eroticism and violence. Michael Dirda, Washington Post, "A celebration of the outsiders and outcasts who have made music great," 16 Oct. 2019

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

20 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Eroticism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for eroticism


How to pronounce eroticism (audio)

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on eroticism

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for eroticism

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with eroticism

Spanish Central: Translation of eroticism

Nglish: Translation of eroticism for Spanish Speakers

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