Definition of obscene
1 : disgusting to the senses : repulsive
2a : abhorrent to morality or virtue; specifically : designed to incite to lust or depravity … the dance often becomes flagrantly obscene and definitely provocative … — Margaret Meadb : containing or being language regarded as taboo in polite usage obscene lyrics obscene literaturec : repulsive by reason of crass disregard of moral or ethical principles an obscene misuse of powerd : so excessive as to be offensive obscene wealth obscene waste
Examples of obscene in a Sentence
He was accused of making obscene phone calls.
He made an obscene gesture at the driver who cut him off.
The company's executives earn obscene salaries.
He spends an obscene amount of money on clothes.
Recent Examples of obscene from the Web
Photographic reminders of it began to be judged as obscene.
The album was dubbed legally obscene and the trial that followed made headlines and kicked off a national debate.
This month Harvard withdrew acceptances for at least ten students for obscene postings on Facebook.
His manipulation of scale is unsurpassed, as is his ability to synthesize obscene amounts of visual effects into an astonishingly fluid choreography of color and chaos.
The rights lawyer who led the legal campaign against the agreement, Khaled Ali, is on trial for allegedly making an obscene hand gesture on the street outside the courthouse where the ruling against the deal was pronounced in January.
CLEVELAND -- Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig made an obscene gesture at Cleveland fans after hitting a home run Tuesday night.
The closest comparison in my historian's recollection was the ugly, obscene innuendo that the unreconstructed right applied to FDR in the 1930s.
What about hateful or obscene tweets at the president?
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'obscene.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of obscene
Middle French, from Latin obscenus, obscaenus
First Known Use: 1593See Words from the same year
Synonym Discussion of obscene
OBSCENE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of obscene for English Language Learners
: relating to sex in an indecent or offensive way
: very offensive in usually a shocking way
: so large an amount or size as to be very shocking or unfair
OBSCENE Defined for Kids
Definition of obscene for Students
: very shocking to a person's sense of what is moral or decent
Additional Notes on obscene
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that obscene applies to materials that appeal predominantly to a prurient interest in sexual conduct, depict or describe sexual conduct in a patently offensive way, and lack serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value. Material or expression deemed obscene by the court is not protected by the free speech guarantee of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Origin and Etymology of obscene
Middle French, from Latin obscenus obscaenus indecent, lewd
Seen and Heard
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