pornography

play
noun por·nog·ra·phy \-fē\

Definition of pornography

  1. 1 :  the depiction of erotic behavior (as in pictures or writing) intended to cause sexual excitement

  2. 2 :  material (as books or a photograph) that depicts erotic behavior and is intended to cause sexual excitement

  3. 3 :  the depiction of acts in a sensational manner so as to arouse a quick intense emotional reaction <the pornography of violence>

pornographic

play \ˌpȯr-nə-ˈgra-fik\ adjective

pornographically

play \-fi-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

Examples of pornography in a sentence

  1. If you ask me, his movies are just high-class pornography.

What is pornography?

For many people, any attempt to define the word pornography calls to mind the oft-quoted line from Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart in 1964: “. . . I know it when I see it.” While compilers of dictionaries might wish to be granted such latitude in explaining the meaning of certain words, they are held to a higher standard. Pornography, which has been used in English since the middle of the 19th century, comes from the Greek pornographos (“writing about prostitutes”), and initially referred to visual or written matter designed to cause sexual arousal, a meaning that is still the most common one employed today. Pornography has taken on an additional, non-sexualized, sense: one that refers to a depiction of sensational material (such as violence) in order to elicit a reaction. The phrase “pornography of violence,” for example, began to be used in the early 1950s.

Origin and Etymology of pornography

Greek pornographos, adjective, writing about prostitutes, from pornē prostitute + graphein to write; akin to Greek pernanai to sell, poros journey — more at fare, carve


First Known Use: 1858


PORNOGRAPHY Defined for English Language Learners

pornography

play
noun por·nog·ra·phy \-fē\

Definition of pornography for English Language Learners

  • : movies, pictures, magazines, etc., that show or describe naked people or sex in a very open and direct way in order to cause sexual excitement


Law Dictionary

pornography

play
noun por·nog·ra·phy \pȯr-ˈnä-grə-fē\

Legal Definition of pornography

  1. :  material that depicts erotic behavior and is intended to cause sexual excitement

pornographer

\pȯr-ˈnä-grə-fər\ play noun

pornographic

\ˌpȯr-nə-ˈgra-fik\ play adjective

pornographically

adverb

Additional Notes on pornography

Pornographic material is protected expression unless it is determined to be obscene. However, child pornography is illegal under federal and state laws prohibiting the depiction of minors in sexual acts.



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