sa·​la·​cious sə-ˈlā-shəs How to pronounce salacious (audio)
: arousing or appealing to sexual desire or imagination
salacious headlines
salacious lyrics
: lecherous, lustful
… have fiercely denounced the book's sketches of melodramatic lovers and salacious partygoers …Casey Greenfield
salaciously adverb
salaciousness noun

Examples of salacious in a Sentence

Lady Worsley's Whim, the story of Lady Worsley and her husband Sir Richard Worsley, is also reconstructed from some well-thumbed texts, in this case trial transcripts and newspaper reports of cases of "Criminal Conversation" which became popular eighteenth-century erotica. Charges … were brought by husbands seeking damages from the purported lovers of their supposedly adulterous wives, and the detail, which needed to be explicit, was frequently salacious. Norma Clarke, Times Literary Supplement, 21 Nov. 2008
From snarky political commentary to salacious "memoirs" that flirt with both fact and fiction, scores of bloggers have gotten the book deal boon—with mixed results at the register. Eunice Lee et al., Hyphen, Winter 2007
There's little difference between the junk mail in your mailbox and the junk e-mail that appears on your monitor, except that the e-mail is often of a salacious nature, e.g., the "hot, live XXX action" available at various dark alleyways on the web. Michael Saunders, Boston Globe, 6 Oct.1997
a song with salacious lyrics the salacious Greek god Pan is generally portrayed as having the legs, horns, and ears of a goat
Recent Examples on the Web There truly is no other reality show or salacious crime doc that rivals the ongoing drama of former President Trump’s legal woes. Lorraine Ali, Los Angeles Times, 31 Aug. 2023 Cora Stewart did seek to send copy from Greece that would generate salacious headlines in New York; Harriet Boyd, on the other hand, was a volunteer nurse. Richard Byrne, The New Republic, 25 Aug. 2023 In the latter category was singer and designer Victoria Beckham, who revealed a salacious pet name for her husband, soccer star David Beckham. Phil Davison, Washington Post, 17 Aug. 2023 But in the early ‘90s, Dre’s swinging beats and salacious lyrics – the song was considered a misogynistic headache by many – bumped him to the top of the charts. Melissa Ruggieri, USA TODAY, 11 Aug. 2023 That may sound more like a man casting a salacious music video or a spread in Hustler magazine than the leader of a groundbreaking fashion company, but that was exactly what made American Apparel so popular. Rachel Tashjian, Washington Post, 2 Aug. 2023 The allegations were salacious, to be sure — catnip for the British press — and the BBC was trying to show journalistic integrity by not shying away from embarrassing news about a member of its own staff. Mark Landler, New York Times, 14 July 2023 There was also a very late breaking story before the 2020 election about Hunter Biden's laptop and some salacious details on the laptop that are still being investigated today. Taylor Wilson, USA TODAY, 13 July 2023 The Illinois fringe conservative built himself a minor national reputation by shaming enemies like Donald Trump and Kevin McCarthy with salacious dirt. Nina Burleigh, The New Republic, 16 May 2023 See More

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

Word History


Latin salac-, salax, from salire to move spasmodically, leap — more at sally

First Known Use

circa 1645, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of salacious was circa 1645

Dictionary Entries Near salacious

Cite this Entry

“Salacious.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Sep. 2023.

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