four-letter word

noun

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 Apparently, the one remaining use of the dreaded four-letter word past muster. cleveland, "10 essential things to know about ‘Hamilton’ before Disney Plus movie debuts July 3," 27 June 2020 Well, background checks for sensitive jobs will include scrutiny of public and private behaviors, including seemingly quotidian ones such as liking tweets about alcohol or using four-letter words. Jonathan Zittrain, The Atlantic, "A World Without Privacy Will Revive the Masquerade," 7 Feb. 2020 Hard seltzer sales soared recently, sure, but beer, the world’s most beautiful four-letter word, peaked in March. Nick Rallo, Dallas News, "Lone Star Beer launches its first-ever seasonal beer, a Mexican-style lager brimming with Hill Country nostalgia," 21 Apr. 2020 Shareholders of an oil company dismantled by Vladimir Putin win big RARELY ARE the ramifications of a four-letter word so great as in the case of Yukos, a defunct Russian oil firm. The Economist, "Much ado about “such” The $50bn Yukos judgment against Russia turns on a single word," 20 Feb. 2020 The cussing has become so contagious that ABC warned participants in the last Democratic debate there would be no broadcast delay, hence no time to bleep four-letter words. Los Angeles Times, "What the #%&@?! Trump and 2020 Democrats are cursing a blue streak," 23 Sep. 2019 For many, death and dying are four-letter words, forbidden subjects. David L. Stevenson, The Denver Post, "Guest Commentary: Hospice care — You and your family aren’t alone," 26 Dec. 2019 The cussing has become so contagious that ABC warned participants in the last Democratic debate there would be no broadcast delay, hence no time to bleep four-letter words. Los Angeles Times, "What the #%&@?! Trump and 2020 Democrats are cursing a blue streak," 23 Sep. 2019 The longer answer: Reference to Portlanders’ favorite four-letter word litters the weather service’s forecast. oregonlive, "When will it snow in Portland? How much? Your questions, answered.," 10 Jan. 2020

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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Time Traveler for four-letter word

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

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Statistics for four-letter word

Last Updated

5 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Four-letter word.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/four-letter%20word. Accessed 13 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for four-letter word

four-letter word

noun

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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