prostitute

verb
pros·​ti·​tute | \ ˈprä-stə-ˌtüt How to pronounce prostitute (audio) , -ˌtyüt\
prostituted; prostituting

Definition of prostitute

 (Entry 1 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to offer indiscriminately for sexual intercourse especially for money
2 : to devote to corrupt or unworthy purposes : debase prostitute one's talents

prostitute

adjective

Definition of prostitute (Entry 2 of 3)

: devoted to corrupt purposes : prostituted

prostitute

noun

Definition of prostitute (Entry 3 of 3)

1a : a woman who engages in promiscuous sexual intercourse especially for money : whore
b : a male who engages in sexual and especially homosexual practices for money
2 : a person (such as a writer or painter) who deliberately debases his or her talents (as for money)

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from prostitute

Verb

prostitutor \ ˈprä-​stə-​ˌtü-​tər How to pronounce prostitutor (audio) , -​ˌtyü-​ \ noun

Examples of prostitute in a Sentence

Verb

a writer who prostituted his talents by writing commercials a serious writer prostituting himself by writing pulp novels for money

Noun

the town was horrified to discover that she had once been a prostitute
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Kamala doesn’t care if Willie was good...women who prostitute themselves only care about money and prestige. Jennifer Wright, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kamala Harris Is Already Being Called a Prostitute," 29 Jan. 2019 The indictment discusses another girl who was murdered after being prostituted on Backpage, a case in which the killer then attempted to burn his victim's body. Author: Tom Jackman, Mark Berman, Anchorage Daily News, "Top officials at Backpage.com indicted after classifieds site taken offline," 10 Apr. 2018 Lorenzo Darrel Hatcher, 25, of Hamtramck and Lamyia Ieshia-Pamela Sneed, 21, of St. Clair Shores, are accused of kidnapping a 20-year-old Ohio woman and profiting off of prostituting her. Marc Daalder, Detroit Free Press, "Ohio woman allegedly kidnapped, forced into prostitution in Detroit," 11 June 2018 At night, while her mom prostituted, Deshae would often stay with Khaled’s brother or at a 24-hour day care—but even that was common in Vegas, where parents tend to work odd hours. Jeremy Fuchs, SI.com, "Life After Escaping the World of Human Trafficking," 10 May 2018 The indictment discusses another girl who was murdered after being prostituted on Backpage, a case in which the killer then attempted to burn his victim's body. Author: Tom Jackman, Mark Berman, Anchorage Daily News, "Top officials at Backpage.com indicted after classifieds site taken offline," 10 Apr. 2018 The Great Mystical Circus (O Grande Circo Mistico) spans five generations of a family of circus owners, tracing them from heyday to mayday, when the big top is in shreds and the last owner is reduced to prostituting her daughters. Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The Great Mystical Circus' ('O Grande Circo Mistico'): Film Review | Cannes 2018," 13 May 2018 The indictment discusses another girl who was murdered after being prostituted on Backpage, a case in which the killer then attempted to burn his victim's body. Author: Tom Jackman, Mark Berman, Anchorage Daily News, "Top officials at Backpage.com indicted after classifieds site taken offline," 10 Apr. 2018 The indictment discusses another girl who was murdered after being prostituted on Backpage, a case in which the killer then attempted to burn his victim's body. Author: Tom Jackman, Mark Berman, Anchorage Daily News, "Top officials at Backpage.com indicted after classifieds site taken offline," 10 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The odalisque, an image of a reclining nude, conjoins two distinct categories of the commodity: the slave and the prostitute. Longreads, "A Minor Figure," 20 July 2019 The proposals range from closing the curtains of windows so that prostitutes are not on public display, closing down brothels with display windows altogether, and moving prostitution somewhere else in the city. BostonGlobe.com, "Close the windows? Amsterdam mulls red light district change," 3 July 2019 The proposals range from closing the curtains of windows so that prostitutes are not on public display, closing down brothels with display windows altogether, and moving prostitution somewhere else in the city. NBC News, "Close the windows? Amsterdam mulls red-light district change," 3 July 2019 Activists in New York say that prostitutes tend to be hesitant about telling the police if they are attacked or raped for fear they themselves will be arrested. R.w. | New York, The Economist, "The push to decriminalise sex work in New York," 19 June 2019 In the Strand, in Georgian London, the big-haired prostitutes grind their hips and sing ditties about their trade. The New York Review of Books, "Maya Jasanoff," 23 May 2019 As police investigated, two prostitutes came forward to allege Little had attacked them both. Kyle Swenson, The Seattle Times, "Elderly prisoner claims he’s America’s deadliest serial killer with 90 victims. Police believe him.," 20 Nov. 2018 Donald Murphy In 1980, 11 prostitutes were among 18 young women killed in similar circumstances in Detroit. Detroit Free Press Staff, Detroit Free Press, "Notorious Michigan serial killers: Who were they?," 10 May 2018 Kadolph said she was born to a prostitute in northern California. Julia M. Chan, CNN, "She was trafficked as a child. Now this survivor fights back through coffee," 10 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'prostitute.' 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 prostitute

Verb

1530, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1563, in the meaning defined above

Noun

1607, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for prostitute

Verb

Latin prostitutus, past participle of prostituere, from pro- before + statuere to station — more at pro-, statute

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about prostitute

Statistics for prostitute

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for prostitute

The first known use of prostitute was in 1530

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for prostitute

prostitute

verb

English Language Learners Definition of prostitute

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to use (something valuable, such as talent) in a way that is not appropriate or respectable and especially to earn money

prostitute

noun

English Language Learners Definition of prostitute (Entry 2 of 2)

: a person who has sex with someone in exchange for money

prostitute

noun
pros·​ti·​tute | \ ˈpräs-tə-ˌtüt, -ˌtyüt\

Legal Definition of prostitute

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a person who engages in sexual activity indiscriminately especially for money — compare panderer, pimp

prostitute

transitive verb
prostituted; prostituting

Legal Definition of prostitute (Entry 2 of 2)

: to offer as a prostitute

History and Etymology for prostitute

Transitive verb

Latin prostitutus, past participle of prostituere, from pro- before + statuere to cause to stand, place

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on prostitute

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

WORD OF THE DAY

a period when something is suspended

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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