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 In prurient matters, men always live in the present. Lisa Taddeo, Harper's Magazine, "Padua, 1966," 30 Mar. 2020 Sleep under the stars on a warm late June night, and take it all in with a side of wanton, prurient sky candy. Heather Arndt Anderson, Sunset Magazine, "Relieve Stress with Visits to These Fragrant Places, from Lavender Farms to Redwood Groves," 17 Jan. 2020 The skepticism was warranted; both women began playing music in their teens, the Runaways especially guided and misguided by older men with sometimes prurient interests who treated the group as a novelty., "How rock veterans from Runaways, Fanny joined forces," 29 July 2019 The unrelenting glare of sometimes prurient publicity was unnerving and ultimately cancerous. Kevin Cullen,, "Courtney Kennedy and Paul Hill’s enduring agony," 3 Aug. 2019

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

Time Traveler

The first known use of prurient was in 1592

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Cite this Entry

“Prurient.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jul. 2020.

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How to pronounce prurient (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of prurient

formal + usually disapproving : 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

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More from Merriam-Webster on prurient

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for prurient

Spanish Central: Translation of prurient

Nglish: Translation of prurient for Spanish Speakers

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