prostitute

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

Definition of prostitute

 (Entry 1 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to offer for sexual intercourse in exchange for pay prostitute oneself
2 : to devote to corrupt or unworthy purposes : debase prostitute one's talents

intransitive verb

: to act as a prostitute : to prostitute onself When she prostituted, she worked as a call girl …— Joanne Meyerowitz

prostitute

adjective

Definition of prostitute (Entry 2 of 3)

: devoted to corrupt purposes : prostituted

prostitute

noun
plural prostitutes

Definition of prostitute (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : a person who engages in sexual intercourse in exchange for pay
2 : a person (such as a writer or painter) who deliberately debases his or her talents (as for money)

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Currens allegedly drove the victim from Panama City to Mobile in March with plans to force the girl to prostitute herself during Mardi Gras, according to U.S. Attorney Richard W. Moore. Howard Koplowitz | Hkoplowitz@al.com, al, "Mobile federal judge sentences man to 2 years in prostitution scheme," 19 Aug. 2019 At the other end is the caricature, butt of flabby jokes, trussed in Las Vegas gaud, voice prostituted to a huge orchestra. San Diego Union-Tribune, "From the Archives: All Shook Up," 16 Aug. 2019 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

As if to further mark the prostitutes as objects available for the taking, the artists have framed each woman’s face with a box, whose clear top is hinged open. Los Angeles Times, "Nancy Reddin Kienholz, who pushed art boundaries with husband Edward, dies at 75," 9 Aug. 2019 One trader admitted to having been duped: The Armenian prostitutes persuaded him to use their names to register front companies in Armenia to facilitate banking transactions. Farnaz Fassihi, New York Times, "U.S. Sanctions Turn Iran’s Oil Industry Into Spy vs. Spy," 8 Aug. 2019 Finally, prostitutes moved out, plying their trade in the more lucrative streets north of Market. Gary Kamiya, SFChronicle.com, "SF ‘hobohemia’ transformed into Skid Row as jobs and city changed," 10 Aug. 2019 The Stedfast Baptist Church found itself in hot water earlier this year when a different pastor at its Fort Worth, Texas, location resigned after admitting to sleeping with prostitutes. Nardine Saad, Los Angeles Times, "How a 2005 Sarah Silverman joke sparked death wishes from two Baptist pastors," 9 Aug. 2019 All four victims worked as prostitutes and were fatally shot in the head and left in the road to die, according to Webb County District Attorney Isidro Alaniz. Fox News, "Trial for Border Patrol agent accused of killing 4 women, kidnapping 5th in Texas postponed," 3 Aug. 2019 The two nations are also engaged in a long-running dispute over reparations for women forced to work as prostitutes for the Japanese military. Mayumi Negishi And Alastair Gale, WSJ, "North Korea’s Weapons Program Fuels Tokyo’s Trade Spat With Seoul," 10 July 2019 King’s victims worked as prostitutes and provided him with a cut of their earnings to cover their debts and the cost of transporting them to meet customers. David Owens, courant.com, "Leader of Danbury-based sex trafficking ring sentenced to 4½ years in prison," 19 June 2019 Two women were also found at the location working as prostitutes. Jason Green, The Mercury News, "Woman arrested on suspicion of running brothel in San Bruno," 17 June 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.

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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

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Statistics for prostitute

Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for prostitute

The first known use of prostitute was in 1530

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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

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