pro·​fan·​i·​ty | \ prō-ˈfa-nə-tē How to pronounce profanity (audio) , prə-\
plural profanities

Definition of profanity

1a : the quality or state of being profane
b : the use of profane language
2a : profane language
b : an utterance of profane language

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of profanity in a Sentence

The comic uses too much profanity. My mom will not tolerate profanity. I have never heard my father utter a single profanity.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

The video also shows her using profanities to describe her experience at the bank and repeatedly insulting the state. Samy Magdy, The Seattle Times, "Attorney says Egyptian activist to return to jail any time," 1 Jan. 2019 No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Christopher Elliott, The Seattle Times, "Travel Wise | Government shutdown may create a ripple of disruptions for travelers," 22 Jan. 2019 That's led to mostly one-sided matches, with one side salty as the Pacific Ocean and screaming profanities. Gordon Mah Ung, PCWorld, "World of Warships dives deep for new players, adding submarines to popular naval combat game," 18 Sep. 2018 So far, no music or ads are allowed within the stories, and publications can’t use profanity either, in accordance with FCC guidelines, according to Google. Shannon Liao, The Verge, "Google wants to replace your radio as an audio news source," 6 Dec. 2018 Severino and Marrillia, a Tavares grad and former UCF outfielder, were also cited for unsportsmanlike conduct and the use of profanity toward an official in the district tournament loss to Timber Creek. J.c. Carnahan,, "Winter Park baseball makes coaching change following chaotic season finale," 28 June 2018 The use of profanity in comedy is so commonplace that it's almost expected. The Washington Post,, "Let's talk about the c-word -- and why it's so taboo," 2 June 2018 The misogynistic term remains the third rail of profanity. Stephanie Ebbert,, "Why the c-word is still the third rail of profanity," 1 June 2018 One Icelander said the graffiti is created out of boredom and largely free of profanity. Liz Dufour, USA TODAY, "WOW Air stopover: Photos of 82 hours in Iceland," 25 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'profanity.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of profanity

1563, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about profanity

Statistics for profanity

Last Updated

9 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for profanity

The first known use of profanity was in 1563

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for profanity



English Language Learners Definition of profanity

: offensive language
: an offensive word


pro·​fan·​i·​ty | \ prō-ˈfa-nə-tē How to pronounce profanity (audio) \
plural profanities

Kids Definition of profanity

: language that is offensive or disrespectful

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on profanity

What made you want to look up profanity? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


not to be persuaded, moved, or stopped

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!