vul·​gar | \ ˈvəl-gər How to pronounce vulgar (audio) \

Definition of vulgar

1a : lacking in cultivation, perception, or taste : coarse
b : morally crude, undeveloped, or unregenerate : gross
c : ostentatious or excessive in expenditure or display : pretentious
2a : offensive in language : earthy
b : lewdly or profanely indecent
3a : generally used, applied, or accepted
b : understood in or having the ordinary sense they reject the vulgar conception of miracle— W. R. Inge
4 : vernacular the vulgar name of a plant
5a : of or relating to the common people : plebeian
b : generally current : public the vulgar opinion of that time
c : of the usual, typical, or ordinary kind

Other Words from vulgar

vulgarly adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for vulgar

common, ordinary, plain, familiar, popular, vulgar mean generally met with and not in any way special, strange, or unusual. common implies usual everyday quality or frequency of occurrence a common error lacked common honesty and may additionally suggest inferiority or coarseness. common manners ordinary stresses conformance in quality or kind with the regular order of things. an ordinary pleasant summer day a very ordinary sort of man plain is likely to suggest homely simplicity. plain hard-working people familiar stresses the fact of being generally known and easily recognized. a familiar melody popular applies to what is accepted by or prevalent among people in general sometimes in contrast to upper classes or special groups. a writer of popular romances vulgar, otherwise similar to popular, is likely to carry derogatory connotations (as of inferiority or coarseness). souvenirs designed to appeal to the vulgar taste

coarse, vulgar, gross, obscene, ribald mean offensive to good taste or morals. coarse implies roughness, rudeness, or crudeness of spirit, behavior, or language. found the coarse humor of coworkers offensive vulgar often implies boorishness or ill-breeding. a loud vulgar belch gross implies extreme coarseness and insensitiveness. gross eating habits obscene applies to anything strongly repulsive to the sense of decency and propriety especially in sexual matters. obscene language not allowed on the air ribald applies to what is amusingly or picturesquely vulgar or irreverent or mildly indecent. entertained the campers with ribald folk songs

Examples of vulgar in a Sentence

He was a vulgar man. She had a coarse, vulgar laugh. I will not tolerate such vulgar language in my home.
Recent Examples on the Web The hard-working surfaces cut drag and add downforce without the need for anything as vulgar as a racer's elevated wing pushed into the airflow. Mike Duff, Car and Driver, 12 Sep. 2022 The latest, a defamation trial that Depp won against Heard in June, resulted in weeks of vulgar online commentary that turned the disturbing details that had been revealed in the duo’s testimonies into memes. Shirley Li, The Atlantic, 30 Aug. 2022 Pii’s shipping methods were criticized, sometimes in very blunt, vulgar fashion, with bottles exploding on the way to their destinations. Los Angeles Times, 23 Aug. 2022 The New York City Police Department’s Hate Crimes Task Force has launched an investigation after a Holocaust memorial in Brooklyn was defaced with graffiti and vulgar words written in Russian. Greg Norman, Fox News, 23 Aug. 2022 Those slogans feature vulgar personal insults directed at the ruling class. Mary Anastasia O’grady, WSJ, 14 Aug. 2022 Johnson worked in another sort of outsider vernacular—at once banal, vulgar, campy, and deeply sophisticated. Vince Aletti, The New Yorker, 22 July 2022 Aside from a brief stint in 2011, it's been 25 years since audiences have laughed at Beavis and Butt-Head, two of the raunchiest and most vulgar characters in cartoon history. Keith Langston,, 3 Aug. 2022 Pictures posted to Reddit on Thursday showed a racial slur, vulgar images, and a swastika written in orange spray paint on the school‘s playground. Itzel Luna, Los Angeles Times, 22 July 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of vulgar

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3a

History and Etymology for vulgar

Middle English, from Latin vulgaris of the mob, vulgar, from volgus, vulgus mob, common people

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The first known use of vulgar was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

18 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Vulgar.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for vulgar


vul·​gar | \ ˈvəl-gər How to pronounce vulgar (audio) \

Kids Definition of vulgar

1 : having or showing poor taste or manners : coarse vulgar table manners
2 : offensive in language or subject matter a vulgar joke

More from Merriam-Webster on vulgar

Nglish: Translation of vulgar for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of vulgar for Arabic Speakers


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