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 soon as prostitution was banned in postwar Japan, the number of prostitutes (said to be roughly eighty thousand in Tokyo alone) rose sharply. Pico Iyer, Harper's magazine, "Freedom from Choice," 19 Aug. 2019 Now streaming its third season on Hulu, the period drama looks at the lives of prostitutes working in 18th century London brothels from a distinctively female perspective: Harlots is written and directed entirely by women. Hugh Hart, Fortune, "Women Creators Are Stealing the Spotlight on TV," 5 Aug. 2019 An employee claimed to have seen Mr. Sorrell entering 50a Shepherd Market, an address known as being home to a rotating group of prostitutes. David Segal, New York Times, "Martin Sorrell Wants to Build a New Ad Empire. Please Don’t Call It Revenge.," 1 July 2019 One of those cases is also one of the state’s most perplexing mysteries — the murder of four prostitutes whose bodies were dumped just outside Atlantic City in 2006. David Porter, The Seattle Times, "State cold case unit could help solve enduring mysteries," 22 Apr. 2018 These were the playthings of the late Jeffrey Epstein, who promised them a sort of empowerment — money, modeling contracts, contact with the rich and powerful — but turned them instead into a stable of prostitutes. Nr Editors, National Review, "The Week," 12 Sep. 2019 And in the 2000 GOP South Carolina presidential primary, John McCain faced a scabrous whispering campaign that falsely claimed that his adopted daughter from Bangladesh was the fruit of an affair with a black prostitute. Walter Shapiro, The New Republic, "Lindsey Graham’s “Achilles Heel”," 9 July 2019 Rising wages in northern China cities have led to a greater demand for prostitutes among the male population, according to the KFI report. Julie Zaugg, CNN, "These North Korean defectors were sold into China as cybersex slaves. Then they escaped," 9 June 2019 The Gordons claimed Airbnb was negligent in allowing Prada to book the apartment, and that the company engages in racketeering by profiting from providing rental accommodations for prostitutes. Ethan Baron, The Mercury News, "Former San Jose guitarist who’s played SNL sues Airbnb claiming Paris hooker got him jailed, evicted," 6 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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