Definition of expletive
1a : a syllable, word, or phrase inserted to fill a vacancy (as in a sentence or a metrical line) without adding to the sense; especially : a word (such as it in “make it clear which you prefer”) that occupies the position of the subject or object of a verb in normal English word order and anticipates a subsequent word or phrase that supplies the needed meaningful contentb : an exclamatory word or phrase; especially : one that is obscene or profane
2 : one that serves to fill out or as a filling
Examples of expletive in a Sentence
Angry expletives filled the air.
Expletives were deleted from the transcript of their conversation.
Recent Examples of expletive from the Web
The court appearance came after Kardashian posted graphic pictures and expletive-ridden posts about Chyna, many of which have since been taken down.
A Reddit user by the name of HanA–holeSolo (partially redacted for an expletive) took credit for the GIF, but later released an apology as CNN tracked the user down, and his history of racist and anti-Semitic comments were unearthed.
In a series of expletive-ridden Instagram posts, Kardashian posted several intimate pictures of Chyna – many of which were later taken down.
In many explicitly graphic posts crammed with insults and expletives, the Keeping Up with the Kardashian star accuses his ex of sleeping with three men (himself included) in one weekend.
The actor allegedly became aloof, hard to reach, exploding with expletives when challenged over expenses.
In the moments after the 2-1 pitch, Moylan screamed at Tumpane, offering at least one expletive.
Your mosque is going to be blown the [expletive] up tonight.
Oak Park Aggravated assault • A pedestrian crossing the street in the 200 block of Chicago Avenue allegedly pointed a handgun at a driver and shouted an expletive at her at 4:32 p.m. June 11. •
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'expletive.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
First Known Use of expletive
Definition of expletive
1 : serving to fill up expletive phrases
2 : marked by the use of expletives
EXPLETIVE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of expletive for English Language Learners
: a word or phrase (such as “Damn it!”) that people sometimes say when they are angry or in pain; especially : one that is offensive
Seen and Heard
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