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

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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 Unlike other deep-red states, majority-Mormon Utah has long been ill at ease with Trump’s crude style, including his xenophobic attacks on refugees and his fondness for profanity. Griff Witte, Washington Post, "Can a Republican take on Trump and survive? Mitt Romney is proving it’s possible.," 17 Feb. 2020 Reason then stopped behind Thomas’ car, rolled down the window and started yelling, before getting out and yelling profanities in Thomas’ face, Vallejo police said. Evan Sernoffsky,, "Family files legal claims after killing of man by Richmond police officer," 9 Feb. 2020 Amid a campaign swing for Beto O'Rourke Thursday in Las Vegas, Amy O'Rourke described a bittersweet relationship with her husband's penchant for profanity. Alexander Tin, CBS News, "Amy O'Rourke has mixed feelings about her husband's cursing," 20 Sep. 2019 Disorderly conduct: Van Aken Boulevard At noon Feb. 5, officers were summoned to the Walgreen’s store at 20200 Van Aken Blvd., where a man was behaving in a disorderly fashion and was yelling profanities at customers. cleveland, "Two men enter driver’s stopped car, pull gun on him: Shaker Heights police blotter," 9 Feb. 2020 There were others on social media who weren't thrilled with Buck's mention of the Bengals' loss 31 years ago - many of which include profanity that Dunlap's tweet did not. Dave Clark,, "Carlos Dunlap could've done without Joe Buck's mention of Niners beating Bengals in 1989," 3 Feb. 2020 The television broadcast appeared to catch Green yelling profanities at Moran. oregonlive, "Draymond Green hurls profanities, accuses Portland Trail Blazers assistant coach of ‘cheating the game’," 19 Dec. 2019 The jury heard Daniel yell profanities and call his ex-wife names. Erin Moriarty, CBS News, "Did a photograph posted on social media lead to a cop's death?," 6 Dec. 2019 When the resident refused, the man got belligerent and yelled profanities. Washington Post, "Fairfax County crime report," 30 Oct. 2019

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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Time Traveler for profanity

Time Traveler

The first known use of profanity was in 1563

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Statistics for profanity

Last Updated

26 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Profanity.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for profanity


How to pronounce profanity (audio)

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

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Comments on profanity

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