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

Amelia Hoffman slams on the gas and screams obscenities out the window as her hatchback hurtles across the open field. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "If You Can't Beat It, Code It," 17 Dec. 2018 He has been fined on obscenity charges in Japan, and while some critics consider him a maestro, others deem his work pornography. Motoko Rich, New York Times, "When an Erotic Photographer’s Muse Becomes His Critic," 5 May 2018 Craig Nolinske, 63, of the Mandeville area, was booked Tuesday (Feb. 6) on an obscenity charge, the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office said in a news release on Wednesday. Robert Rhoden, NOLA.com, "North Shore driver exposed himself at traffic light: sheriff," 7 Feb. 2018 Dad told me that Jackie was baseball’s greatest player but, because of the color of his skin, people yelled cruel obscenities at him. Marie Claire, "What Barbara Boxer and Nicole Boxer Learned From Years on the Campaign Trail," 23 Oct. 2018 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

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

22 Dec 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

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tremendous in size, volume, or degree

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