pro·fan·i·ty | \prō-ˈfa-nə-tē, 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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

As far as pastimes go, there are few things that thrill the British more than the art of creative profanity. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "A Very British Protest," 13 July 2018 Pederson was chastised by the judge on more than one occasion for outbursts in court, some involving profanity, during pre-sentencing hearings. Jim Newton, Lake County News-Sun, "Man convicted of terrorist threat against Lake County Courthouse sentenced and released," 9 July 2018 Angry customers use gratuitous profanity, vow never to do business with the company again, promise to sue — or all three. CEOs forward those e-mails to their legal departments, often black holes for complaints. Christopher Elliott,, "Got a complaint about the travel industry? Take it to the top," 26 June 2018 After he was beaten, Johnson challenged the officers to a fight while yelling profanities at them. Uriel J. Garcia, azcentral, "Robert Johnson, unarmed man beaten by Mesa police: 'I want Mesa to be held accountable.'," 7 June 2018 Police found Schuster at the station yelling profanities. Steve Sadin,, "Blotter: Woman charged with DUI in Deerfield after hit-and-run crash," 25 May 2018 Essentially the league asked Drake to cool it with the profanity. Demetrio Teniente, Houston Chronicle, "LeBron James destroyed the Raptors and the memes were perfect," 3 May 2018 Last season, Murray started against Oklahoma in place of Mayfield, who was being disciplined for obscene gestures and yelling profanity the week before at Kansas. George Schroeder, USA TODAY, "Oklahoma has talent, confidence, but the Sooners face life without Baker Mayfield," 19 Apr. 2018 He could be heard screaming profanity and threats, throwing himself against walls and breaking things inside his home at all hours, prompting neighbors to call police. Lyndsay Winkley,, "Did the 'system' fail mentally ill man who shot 2 San Diego police officers? Some think so," 1 July 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.

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First Known Use of profanity

1563, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Statistics for profanity

Last Updated

8 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for profanity

The first known use of profanity was in 1563

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More Definitions for profanity



English Language Learners Definition of profanity

: offensive language

: an offensive word


pro·fan·i·ty | \prō-ˈfa-nə-tē \
plural profanities

Kids Definition of profanity

: language that is offensive or disrespectful

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Comments on profanity

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lying above or upon

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