Definition of pornography
1 : the depiction of erotic behavior (as in pictures or writing) intended to cause sexual excitement
2 : material (such as books or a photograph) that depicts erotic behavior and is intended to cause sexual excitement
3 : the depiction of acts in a sensational manner so as to arouse a quick intense emotional reaction the pornography of violence
pornographicplay \ˌpȯr-nə-ˈgra-fik\ adjective
pornographicallyplay \-fi-k(ə-)lē\ adverb
Examples of pornography in a Sentence
If you ask me, his movies are just high-class pornography.
Recent Examples of pornography from the Web
The lengthy list includes alcohol, tobacco, pork products and media or entertainment considered immoral, such as pornography.
A Louisville man was sentenced last Thursday in federal court to 97 months in prison for receiving child pornography.
He was arrested following execution of the warrant and charged with one count of possession of child pornography.
Randy Dunbar: Why was there such a large gay audience if there was gay pornography?
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pornography'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
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.
PORNOGRAPHY Defined for English Language Learners
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
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.
Seen and Heard
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