ob·scen·i·ty | \äb-ˈse-nə-tē, əb- also -ˈsē-\
plural obscenities

Definition of obscenity 

1 : the quality or state of being obscene

2 : something (such as an utterance or act) that is obscene

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Examples of obscenity in a Sentence

The author uses obscenity to make a point about the culture. the issue of whether obscenity is a fundamental part of rap music

Recent Examples on the Web

As the 30-year-old United man made his way into the stadium, a section of Liverpool fans approached him and proceeded the goad and hurl a number of verbal obscenities his way. SI.com, "VIDEO: Section of Liverpool Fans Heckle Manchester United Star Upon Arrival at UCL Final in Kiev," 28 May 2018 At the time of the obscenity incidents, Guillory was a federal inmate, housed at the parish jail on various federal charges, including murder and conspiracy to commit murder. Kim Chatelain, NOLA.com, "St. Tammany jail inmate found guilty of obscenity," 8 Feb. 2018 Don’t bring that person up.’ Toxic conflict, for example, is when their dad comes to pick them up, and obscenities are yelled. Christen A. Johnson, chicagotribune.com, "How co-parenting moms help their kids celebrate dad on Father's Day," 14 June 2018 Controversial conservative starlet Tomi Lahren is once again making headlines, this time for getting a drink and obscenities hurled at her while having brunch. William Axford, Houston Chronicle, "Trump comes to the aid of Tomi Lahren after she had a drink thrown at her," 25 May 2018 Some of the most dejected responded on social media with obscenities. Washington Post, "Kennedy retirement guaranteed to ratchet up midterm rhetoric," 29 June 2018 With even The New York Times now printing obscenities, Marco Rubio is going to have to carry around smelling salt. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "Marco Rubio doesn’t like it when people report other people using the F-bomb.," 29 June 2018 Kelly told police the man had called the gas station from outside and was saying obscenities to her. Juliet Muir, NBC News, "Missing persons case of Virginia mother Kelly Bergh-Dove remains unsolved 36 years later," 17 June 2018 The manager accused some of the members of the large party of using obscenities and being disrespectful. Breanna Edwards, The Root, "Ohio Bahama Breeze Manager Fired After Calling Cops on Black Sorors Over Bill Dispute," 26 June 2018

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

1589, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for obscenity

Last Updated

13 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for obscenity

The first known use of obscenity was in 1589

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More Definitions for obscenity



English Language Learners Definition of obscenity

: the quality or state of being obscene

: obscene words or actions

: an offensive word


ob·scen·i·ty | \äb-ˈse-nə-tē, əb-\
plural obscenities

Kids Definition of obscenity

1 : the quality or state of being shocking to a person's sense of what is moral or decent

2 : something that is shocking to a person's sense of what is moral or decent


ob·scen·i·ty | \äb-ˈse-nə-tē \
plural obscenities

Legal Definition of obscenity 

1 : the quality or state of being obscene

2 : something (as an utterance or act) that is obscene also : obscene material

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Comments on obscenity

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


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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