obscenity

noun
ob·​scen·​i·​ty | \ äb-ˈse-nə-tē How to pronounce obscenity (audio) , 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

The man yelled obscenities and ignored the trooper's orders to turn his SUV around. Detroit Free Press Staff, Detroit Free Press, "Report: 82-year-old driver arrested after hitting state police trooper," 26 Aug. 2019 Andrew Jackson’s habit of cursing was revealed through much more prosaic means: The president, the story goes, kept a pet parrot who had picked up the obscenities of its owner along the way. Megan Garber, The Atlantic, "The Currency of Profanity," 9 Aug. 2019 He was also given multiple code violations for obscenities and racket-smashing during the 2014 U.S. Open. Ryan Gaydos, Fox News, "Australian tennis star Nick Kyrgios follows up tournament outburst with another one," 15 Aug. 2019 In keeping with his roughly 3-1 ratio of non-cuss words to expletives, Gruden reeled off some rapid-fire obscenities late in the first half after quarterback Mike Glennon’s second interception. Jon Becker, The Mercury News, "How Jon Gruden saved second ‘Hard Knocks’ episode," 14 Aug. 2019 Note: The audio has been edited to omit the voice of the father to protect the victim's identity and to exclude obscenities. Bree Burkitt, azcentral, "Hear Brittany Zamora's husband's call to parents of the 13-year-old she molested," 11 July 2019 The remarks included obscenities, according to the complaint. Nathan Fenno, latimes.com, "Ex-USC football assistant alleges he was forced out after reporting possible NCAA violations," 1 July 2019 A few minutes later, a man in a pink T-shirt, whom police identified as Bartlett, walks up to the scene with his handgun at his side, yelling obscenities and racial epithets at the black cyclists. Curt Anderson, The Seattle Times, "Miami prosecutor probing MLK traffic incident as hate crime," 22 Jan. 2019 But the project’s musical vacuity is matched only by the curious obscenity of its existence. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "Drake’s Troubling Reunion With Chris Brown," 30 July 2019

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 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for obscenity

The first known use of obscenity was in 1589

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More Definitions for obscenity

obscenity

noun

English Language Learners Definition of obscenity

: the quality or state of being obscene
: obscene words or actions
: an offensive word

obscenity

noun
ob·​scen·​i·​ty | \ äb-ˈse-nə-tē How to pronounce obscenity (audio) , 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

obscenity

noun
ob·​scen·​i·​ty | \ äb-ˈse-nə-tē How to pronounce obscenity (audio) \
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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