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

Related The profanity-laced lyrics are just as strong, and have drawn comparisons to acts such as Rage Against the Machine or Childish Gambino. James Hookway, WSJ, "Thailand’s Rap Against Dictatorship Has One Nation Under a Groove," 30 Oct. 2018 In one instance, that included a black mother who vented on Facebook after a stranger hurled a profanity-laced racist epithet at her children. Rachel Siegel, The Seattle Times, "Chicago CVS employees call 911 on black woman trying to use a coupon," 16 July 2018 Slew McCain was notorious for profanity, loved to gamble, and rolled his own cigarettes one-handed, leaving a litter of Bull Durham behind. P.j. O'rourke, Town & Country, "Roberta McCain, the Woman Who Shaped Senator John McCain," 29 Aug. 2018 Lovullo told Timmons that he was being fooled by Molina’s framing skills, turning balls into strikes, and uttered a profanity that Molina thought was directed towards him. Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY, "Cardinals' Yadier Molina, Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo make amends before game," 2 July 2018 Authorities pleaded repeatedly for civility, and county staff took down comments that contained profanity or were typed in all caps. Jean Marbella,, "Baltimore County police officer's death ignites a racial firestorm," 25 May 2018 But as Marine One thundered into the London sky later that evening, gathered below were several hundred protesters armed with pots, pans, drums, horns, whistles, megaphones and placards daubed with messages of varying profanity. Alexander Smith /, NBC News, "Trump in Britain: President faces dozens of protests across U.K.," 13 July 2018 In the video, an officer is seen holding on to a teenage boy sitting on a sidewalk while a group of mostly boys shout profanities at him., "Police Officer Pulls a Gun on a Group of Children During Heated Confrontation: 'Back Up!'," 11 July 2018 Known by colleagues as excitable with a traders’ penchant for profanity, Mr. Pick’s track record in the securities business has nevertheless marked him as the front-runner. Liz Hoffman, WSJ, "Morgan Stanley Elevates CEO Contender," 10 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

3 Dec 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

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


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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