prurient

adjective

pru·​ri·​ent ˈpru̇r-ē-ənt How to pronounce prurient (audio)
: marked by or arousing an immoderate or unwholesome interest or desire
especially : marked by, arousing, or appealing to sexual desire
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 In the decades that followed, the media took a similarly prurient tack in its coverage of women’s competitive swimming. Sophia Stewart, The Atlantic, 21 June 2024 But beyond it, Morgan sketches a real Manhattan ruled by prurient and destructive masculine appetites, from subway tunnels occupied by ad hoc homeless communities to office towers where the city’s most powerful residents impose their wills on millions of fellow New Yorkers. Judy Berman, TIME, 31 May 2024 That might also have had something to do with a male protagonist being less subject to the prurient aspects of Sorrentino’s gaze. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 21 May 2024 The common theme emerging from these politically conservative Marylanders is that Maryland public school librarians have nothing substantial to offer regarding the protection of young minds from prurient interests. Reader Commentary, Baltimore Sun, 18 Mar. 2024 See all Example Sentences for prurient 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'prurient.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

1592, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of prurient was in 1592

Dictionary Entries Near prurient

Cite this Entry

“Prurient.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/prurient. Accessed 24 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

prurient

adjective
pru·​ri·​ent ˈpru̇r-ē-ənt How to pronounce prurient (audio)
: having or revealing indecent desires or thoughts
pruriently adverb

Legal Definition

prurient

adjective
pru·​ri·​ent ˈpru̇r-ē-ənt How to pronounce prurient (audio)
: marked by or arousing an unwholesome sexual interest or desire
pruriently adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on prurient

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!