four-letter word


Definition of four-letter word

: any of a group of vulgar or obscene words typically made up of four letters broadly : a taboo word or topic tax is a four-letter word to him

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Examples of four-letter word in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Love: the most dangerous four-letter word in the dictionary. Alexis Jones And Deanna Janes, Harper's BAZAAR, "21 Rom-Coms to Stream on Netflix this Valentine's Day," 13 Feb. 2019 Huffman told a joke that included a veiled reference to a four-letter word degrading to women, while telling a story about a woman who was considering running for office. Laura Hancock,, "Talk It Out: Should Rep. Seitz, Sen. Huffman resign after vulgar jokes about women?," 1 Feb. 2018 In many respects, those findings mirrored Democrats’ own assessments of Mr. Comey — save for the omission of certain four-letter words. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: Trump is losing the debate over splitting up immigrant families," 15 June 2018 But last week she was forced to backpedal after using a vulgar four-letter word to refer to Ivanka Trump; the incident has been at the center of countless debates and think pieces. Andrew R. Chow, New York Times, "What’s on TV Wednesday: ‘The Fosters’ and ‘Full Frontal With Samantha Bee’," 6 June 2018 But now that anchormen can't report on the President without dropping a variant of another four-letter word, Rockwell’s misdeed passed largely unnoticed. Jack Dickey,, "When a Wardrobe Malfunction Was the Ultimate Malfeasance for the NFL and CBS," 2 Feb. 2018 The Brewers, perpetually bothered by Miller Park becoming Wrigley Field North, apparently angered Cubs catcher Willson Contreras enough for the fiery Venezuelan to utter a four-letter word toward the opposing dugout after a triple. David Haugh,, "Mother Nature must really hate baseball, America's national frost time," 16 Apr. 2018 Ahead, the media have a new four-letter word for Donald Trump's Republican Party. Fox News, "Two FBI agents sought to 'stop' Trump," 18 June 2018 Buy Photo The famed pop artist Robert Indiana left behind a legacy with a single four-letter word. Patricia Madej,, "5 other places you'll find Robert Indiana's LOVE sculpture," 22 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'four-letter word.' 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 four-letter word

1897, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

22 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for four-letter word

The first known use of four-letter word was in 1897

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More Definitions for four-letter word

four-letter word


English Language Learners Definition of four-letter word

: an offensive word and especially an offensive word that has four letters
: a word, subject, or idea that is disliked by some people

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Comments on four-letter word

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


to corrupt or become corrupted

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