vo·​lup·​tu·​ous və-ˈləp(t)-shə-wəs How to pronounce voluptuous (audio)
: suggesting sensual pleasure by fullness and beauty of form
voluptuous nudes
: full of delight or pleasure to the senses : conducive to or arising from sensuous or sensual gratification : luxurious
a voluptuous dance
voluptuous ornamentation
a voluptuous wine
: given to or spent in enjoyment of luxury, pleasure, or sensual gratifications
a long and voluptuous holidayEdmund Wilson
voluptuously adverb
voluptuousness noun
Choose the Right Synonym for voluptuous

sensuous, sensual, luxurious, voluptuous mean relating to or providing pleasure through gratification of the senses.

sensuous implies gratification of the senses for the sake of aesthetic pleasure.

the sensuous delights of great music

sensual tends to imply the gratification of the senses or the indulgence of the physical appetites as ends in themselves.

a life devoted to sensual pleasures

luxurious suggests the indulgence of sensuous pleasure inducing bodily ease and languor.

a luxurious hotel

voluptuous implies more strongly an abandonment especially to sensual pleasure.

a voluptuous feast

Example Sentences

the voluptuous richness of the music
Recent Examples on the Web The sculptor, who turns 91 this month, playfully supersizes his subjects, making even cats, horses, and Roman soldiers look voluptuous. Christopher Muther, BostonGlobe.com, 6 Apr. 2023 While one shampoo won’t give you fuller hair in the long run, these 15 thickening shampoos will give the illusion of thick, voluptuous hair right away. Katie Intner, Harper's BAZAAR, 29 Mar. 2023 Paul Rubens, his women were voluptuous and plus size; but, for the most part, the models and muses were all of these beautiful, thin women. Lisa Deaderick, San Diego Union-Tribune, 26 Mar. 2023 Similarly, the short-rib udon with bone marrow, which inspired an anticipation of heartburn, delighted from the first sip; punctuated by peppercorn, fish sauce, and white shoyu, the bulalo-style broth (traditionally, a heavy Filipino stew of bone-in beef shank) was voluptuous rather than unctuous. Jiayang Fan, The New Yorker, 2 Sep. 2022 When a mysterious comet falls to earth, Ada’s coerced into swallowing it whole and, once ingested, turns into voluptuous and headstrong superhero Zsazsa, now in charge of taking on a group of interplanetary Amazonistas tasked with eradicating men from earth. Holly Jones, Variety, 19 Apr. 2022 Entered through its narrow side, the structure resembles a medieval cloister, an arcade of slender Gothic arches; from the opposite direction, the arches open into broad half-moons, with the same voluptuous Moorish curves used in haciendas throughout the region. New York Times, 15 Mar. 2021 Meanwhile, artist Adam Ellis’s wallpaper, overrun with voluptuous blooms, covers the walls and ceiling at the terrace bar. Jackie Cooperman, Robb Report, 28 Mar. 2023 The way the female body is depicted in art is continually shifting, from the voluptuous portrayals painted by Peter Paul Rubens in the 17th century, to the younger and thinner idealized body types of the late 20th century. Lisa Deaderick, San Diego Union-Tribune, 26 Mar. 2023 See More

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

Word History


Middle English, from Latin voluptuosus, irregular from voluptas pleasure, from volup pleasurable; akin to Greek elpesthai to hope, Latin velle to wish — more at will

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1b

Time Traveler
The first known use of voluptuous was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near voluptuous

Cite this Entry

“Voluptuous.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/voluptuous. Accessed 1 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


: giving pleasure to the senses
voluptuously adverb
voluptuousness noun

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