sa·​la·​cious | \ sə-ˈlā-shəs How to pronounce salacious (audio) \

Definition of salacious

1 : arousing or appealing to sexual desire or imagination salacious headlines salacious lyrics
2 : lecherous, lustful … have fiercely denounced the book's sketches of melodramatic lovers and salacious partygoers …— Casey Greenfield

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from salacious

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
See More
Recent Examples on the Web More recently, Clark, the media studies professor, has noticed protest-style clickbait appearing on Twitter, where a person will tweet something salacious in order to get someone to click on the thread. NBC News, "Twitter memeified justice for Breonna Taylor. But can a joke make change?," 19 June 2020 Three Russian oligarchs named in British ex-spy Christopher Steele’s salacious and flawed dossier lost their appeal in their defamation lawsuit against the former MI6 agent. Jerry Dunleavy, Washington Examiner, "Russian oligarchs named in dossier lose appeal in lawsuit against Christopher Steele," 19 June 2020 The Betty Broderick Story to go down a similarly salacious road. Ariana Romero,, "Gaslighting, A “Snapped” Woman, & A Smashed Car — Amanda Peet Takes You Inside Dirty John Season 2," 3 June 2020 Or the character Nicki Lewinsky, who cozies up to President Carter – better known as superstar rapper Lil Wayne – on a handful of salacious mix tape tracks. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "The Power and Business of Hip-Hop: A Reading List on an American Art Form," 12 Sep. 2010 Lam formerly operated the store in Hong Kong, specializing in salacious titles about China’s leaders, and was abducted in 2015, probably by Chinese agents. Washington Post, "China vows to ‘smash’ any Taiwan independence move as Trump weighs sanctions," 29 May 2020 Some of the most salacious statements examined during a three-month internal investigation could not be substantiated and were not included in UK’s final report. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky cheerleaders cite free will, not a lack of oversight, in defending fired coaches," 19 May 2020 Fénéon’s most startling departure was to write, as a daily feature in a Parisian newspaper, in 1906, more than a thousand unsigned, usually salacious items. Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker, "Dorothea Lange and Félix Fénéon at MOMA, and Online," 11 May 2020 My Best Friend’s Journal Each week, Mike Wessells, 30, and Cam Shepherd, 33, best friends from Los Angeles, read through Mr. Wessells’s private journal, igniting salacious fodder for 45 to 60 minutes. Hilary Sheinbaum, New York Times, "Podcasts Inspired by Love and Relationships," 5 May 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'salacious.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of salacious

circa 1645, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for salacious

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about salacious

Time Traveler for salacious

Time Traveler

The first known use of salacious was circa 1645

See more words from the same year

Statistics for salacious

Last Updated

23 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Salacious.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Jul. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for salacious


How to pronounce salacious (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of salacious

formal + disapproving : relating to sex in a way that is excessive or offensive

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on salacious

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for salacious

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with salacious

Spanish Central: Translation of salacious

Nglish: Translation of salacious for Spanish Speakers

Comments on salacious

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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