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 When Freddy walks into a barrack with a grisly tableaux of bodies stacked to the ceiling, his mind focuses on the culling of information rather than the obscenity of Nazi genocide. Scott Tobias, Variety, 21 Sep. 2021 The Bidens have grown accustomed to seeing obscenity-laden signs along both of their motorcade routes. New York Times, 19 Sep. 2021 That's also when it was thrust into the spotlight, as the subject of an obscenity trial that would have a groundbreaking impact on the publishing world. Emma Dibdin, Town & Country, 15 Mar. 2021 Alas, the subtitles do not include the Oedipal obscenity whose utterance long ago became a Jackson trademark. BostonGlobe.com, 19 Aug. 2021 Neither federal law nor the Constitution permits obscenity or child pornography. Anthony Leonardi, National Review, 21 July 2021 In contrast to his contemporary Yu Hua, for instance, whose work is laced with comic obscenity and satirical excess, this author is a restrained, meticulous chronicler of precarious lives. Anna Mundow, WSJ, 6 Aug. 2021 The jump made India the second-highest submitter of such demands in the world after Japan, which made more than 16,000 requests primarily related to narcotics, obscenity, or money lending. Diksha Madhok, CNN, 15 July 2021 The National Defense Association came to the aid, for example, of Sara Chase, a forty-one-year-old homeopathic physician and single mother, whom Comstock arrested on obscenity charges in 1878. Margaret Talbot, The New Yorker, 19 July 2021

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

History and Etymology for obscenity

borrowed from Middle French & Latin; Middle French obscenité "indecent words or images," borrowed from Latin obscēnitāt-, obscēnitās (obscaenitāt-, obscaenitās) "indecency, indecent language or behavior," from obscēnus, obscaenus "ill-omened, unpropitious, evoking disgust, indecent, lewd" + -itāt-, -itās -ity — more at obscene

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Time Traveler for obscenity

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The first known use of obscenity was in 1589

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Dictionary Entries Near obscenity

obsceneness

obscenity

obscurant

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Statistics for obscenity

Last Updated

1 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Obscenity.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/obscenity. Accessed 19 Oct. 2021.

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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 : swearword

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

More from Merriam-Webster on obscenity

Nglish: Translation of obscenity for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of obscenity for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about obscenity

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