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
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.
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.
On an episode of his show Real Time With Bill Maher on Friday, the host used a serious expletive on air, which has shocked audiences everywhere.
Considering Gordon Ramsay's penchant for expletives, the name of his new Fox TV series——The F Word—should come as no surprise.
A hot-mike situation led to a reporter uttering an expletive on the air.
At any rate this one was a laugher with Celtics fans entertaining themselves by chanting expletives at Oubre, who had been suspended from Game 4 after shoving Olynyk following a hard, high screen by the Celtics 7-footer.
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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