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


harlotry, vice, whoredom

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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

Senators unanimously backed Senate Bill 46, which would add a $5,000 fine on top of other penalties for soliciting prostitutes or maintaining a place of prostitution. Patrick Marley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin Senate sends Gov. Tony Evers abortion legislation he has promised to veto," 5 June 2019 Companies involved in producing and selling Korean pop music have plunged since Lee Seung-hyun, a major star and member of the group Big Bang, was charged with involvement in a prostitution ring over the weekend. Mike Bird, WSJ, "K-Pop Stocks Can Still Hit the High Notes," 12 Mar. 2019 After a five-hour hearing last week, Mundelein trustees voted to suspend the business license of a spa where a masseuse was charged with prostitution last month. Rick Kambic,, "Following prostitution arrest, Mundelein suspends spa's business license," 10 July 2018 The 54-year-old woman was booked with prostitution by massage and practicing without a massage therapist license, according to an arrest report. Michelle Hunter,, "Metairie woman booked with prostitution by massage: JPSO," 27 Apr. 2018 An assistant basketball coach at Texas Southern University was reportedly suspended from his position after the school learned he had been charged with prostitution earlier this year. Robert Downen, Houston Chronicle, "TSU coach reportedly charged with prostitution," 13 Apr. 2018 The business has something in common with prostitution, reflects Dominic Akyel of the University of Cologne. The Economist, "Why undertakers are worried," 12 Apr. 2018 Patrick also has been charged with prostitution and Trout is facing a conspiracy charge. Greg Norman, Fox News, "Couple busted for allegedly running brothel out of home, with kids inside, to fund heroin addiction," 4 Apr. 2018 Benavides was arrested in November 2015 and charged with compelling prostitution in cases involving at least nine female clients. Elizabeth Zavala, San Antonio Express-News, "Ex-San Antonio attorney accused in sex case told brother to ‘destroy’ DVDs," 28 Mar. 2018

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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Statistics for prostitution

Last Updated

14 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for prostitution

The first known use of prostitution was in 1553

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More Definitions for prostitution



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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Comments on prostitution

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


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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