pros·​ti·​tu·​tion | \ ˌprä-stə-ˈtü-shən How to pronounce prostitution (audio) , -ˈtyü- \

Definition of prostitution

1 : the act or practice of engaging in promiscuous sexual relations especially for money
2 : the state of being prostituted : debasement

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Synonyms for prostitution


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Examples of prostitution in a Sentence

She was arrested for prostitution. Writing commercials was a prostitution of his talents.
Recent Examples on the Web She was tried as an adult in the death of Angelo Kerney after helping set up a break-in at his home, which served as both a drug den and a place of underage prostitution, reported at the time of her sentencing. Fox News, "Ohio Gov. DeWine: Sex-trafficking survivor in Kim Kardashian documentary has life sentence commuted amid coronavirus," 19 Apr. 2020 The suits also claim hotels should have known about online reviews that mention prostitution, arrests of traffickers on hotel premises and hospitality-industry presentations that document trafficking as a major concern. Corinne Ramey, WSJ, "Lawsuits Accuse Big Hotel Chains of Allowing Sex Trafficking," 4 Mar. 2020 As Zola falls down a rabbit hole of guns, shady backrooms, and prostitution, Bravo's narrative gambit becomes evident. Isaac Feldberg, Fortune, "The best movies that came out of the 2020 Sundance Film Festival," 5 Feb. 2020 Williams and Hollier are suspected of promoting prostitution, narcotics trafficking, theft of services and possession of drug paraphernalia, police said. Howard Koplowitz |, al, "2 men forced woman to perform sex acts in abandoned house, Brookside police say," 1 Feb. 2020 Willie James Brumfield, 20, is facing charges of trafficking of a child, compelling prostitution, aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon and evading arrest or detention, according to Texas DPS. Jay R. Jordan, Houston Chronicle, "Houston-area human trafficking suspect added to Texas’ most wanted list," 31 Jan. 2020 Bill Ungruhe, the spokesman for the St. Benard Police Department, said there have been dozens of complaints about possible marijuana use, disorderly groups, prostitution, large crowds, fighting, excessive noise, drug dealing and parking violations. Segann March,, "Saint Bernard PD: Community made several complaints, calls before GG's Bar and Grill abruptly closed," 28 Jan. 2020 By the 1980s, crime crept in — dope, prostitution, gangs, troublemakers from Highland Park and the other affluent areas surrounding Elm Thicket. Robert Wilonsky, Dallas News, "Homes, history are vanishing as development swallows Dallas’ Elm Thicket community near Love Field," 24 Jan. 2020 Several seemingly legitimate businesses in town were instead fronts for prostitution, gambling, bootlegging and drugs. David Reamer, Anchorage Daily News, "Who killed Anchorage’s first police chief? Nearly 100 years later, it’s still a mystery.," 13 Jan. 2020

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

1553, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for prostitution

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The first known use of prostitution was in 1553

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Statistics for prostitution

Last Updated

16 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Prostitution.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

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How to pronounce prostitution (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of prostitution

: the work of a prostitute : the act of having sex in exchange for money
: the use of a skill or ability in a way that is not appropriate or respectable


pros·​ti·​tu·​tion | \ ˌpräs-tə-ˈtü-shən, -ˈtyü- How to pronounce prostitution (audio) \

Legal Definition of prostitution

: the act or practice of engaging in sexual activity indiscriminately especially for money also : the crime of engaging in such activity

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