pru·​ri·​ent | \ ˈpru̇r-ē-ənt How to pronounce prurient (audio) \

Definition of prurient

: marked by or arousing an immoderate or unwholesome interest or desire especially : marked by, arousing, or appealing to sexual desire

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Other Words from prurient

pruriently adverb

Examples of prurient in a Sentence

He took a prurient interest in her personal life. a book that appealed to the prurient curiosity of its readers
Recent Examples on the Web Shawn speaks across species with his acrobatic timbre, using his off-kilter imagination and knack for comically prurient description: Blanche, a cat, is Ben’s most ardent lover, and also a kind of wordless antagonist. Vinson Cunningham, The New Yorker, 19 July 2021 With not much to fill all those hours, many turned to prurient topics and became easy fodder for satire. Mark Kennedy, Star Tribune, 19 July 2021 Much of the reporting about Tipton was prurient, skeptical, and derisive. Richard Brod, The New Yorker, 16 July 2021 It’s prurient and obscene, and its mortification has been taken up by news media for everybody to see repeatedly and thus abuse themselves — self-righteously. Armond White, National Review, 26 May 2021 Ever sensitive to Apple's prurient insinuations, Epic did not let slip the banana aside. Robert Hackett, Fortune, 11 May 2021 And there is much to love about it beside its now tamely prurient aspects. Matthew J. Palm,, 15 Oct. 2020 So Beaulieu removed the tables and installed a counter to accommodate his more prurient patrons. Tim Carman, Washington Post, 3 July 2020 In prurient matters, men always live in the present. Lisa Taddeo, Harper's Magazine, 30 Mar. 2020

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

1592, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for prurient

Latin prurient-, pruriens, present participle of prurire to itch, crave; akin to Latin pruna glowing coal, Sanskrit ploṣati he singes, and probably to Latin pruina hoarfrost — more at freeze

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Time Traveler for prurient

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The first known use of prurient was in 1592

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Cite this Entry

“Prurient.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Oct. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of prurient

: having or showing too much interest in sex


pru·​ri·​ent | \ ˈpru̇r-ē-ənt How to pronounce prurient (audio) \

Legal Definition of prurient

: marked by or arousing an unwholesome sexual interest or desire

Other Words from prurient

pruriently adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on prurient

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for prurient

Nglish: Translation of prurient for Spanish Speakers


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