vul·gar·i·ty | \ˌvəl-ˈger-rə-tē, -ˈga-rə-\
plural vulgarities

Definition of vulgarity 

1 : something vulgar

2 : the quality or state of being vulgar

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Examples of vulgarity in a Sentence

a comedian known for her vulgarity I was shocked by the vulgarity of his language. He uttered a vulgarity and was silent. We have a policy against printing vulgarities in our magazine.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The luxurious plays ball with the gritty, romance with pornography, ostentatious chic with Rachel’s signature raw and goofy awkwardness, which flirts with but never quite tips into vulgarity. Vogue, "In L.A., Rachel Feinstein Finds Inspiration in the Victoria's Secret Runway Show," 13 Jan. 2018 The White House did not deny Thursday that Trump used the vulgarity, first reported by The Washington Post and later confirmed by numerous other news outlets. Anchorage Daily News, "Trump appears to deny vulgar remark, but senator says president was ‘vile and racist’," 12 Jan. 2018 Zell, 76, used a vulgarity on June 6 to describe women during a discussion on gender diversity at a conference organized by the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts, or NAREIT., "Conservation Law Foundation sues over alleged water pollution at Devens," 20 June 2018 The new piece confronts us with a translation of such obvious tropes of submission into a plain English The Chronicle chooses not to use, as women spell out a series of words and phrases that play on a single-root vulgarity. Charles Desmarais, San Francisco Chronicle, "Marilyn Minter considers glamour, power at Ratio 3," 7 June 2018 But there still are a few vulgarities so offensive, so crude that even comedians usually avoid them, particularly when hurling a personal insult. The Washington Post,, "Let's talk about the c-word -- and why it's so taboo," 2 June 2018 Twaddle and vulgarity will have always the upper hand. Stephen Miller, WSJ, "What’s Another Word for Derp?," 29 May 2018 Last month, comedian Samantha Bee used a vulgarity to describe Ivanka Trump on her TBS show. Alexandra Bruell, WSJ, "AT&T Beat the Government Over Time Warner—Now Comes the Hard Part," 13 June 2018 That provoked an argument with O'Neill, who resisted, and then shouted vulgarities from Cosby directed at Steele. Maria Puente, USA TODAY, "Bill Cosby on house arrest, to be sentenced in 75 days after 'sexually violent predator' assessment," 27 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'vulgarity.' 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 vulgarity

1579, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for vulgarity

Last Updated

24 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for vulgarity

The first known use of vulgarity was in 1579

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More Definitions for vulgarity



English Language Learners Definition of vulgarity

: the quality or state of not having good taste, manners, politeness, etc.

: something (such as a word) that is offensive or rude


vul·gar·i·ty | \ˌvəl-ˈger-ə-tē \
plural vulgarities

Kids Definition of vulgarity

1 : the quality or state of having or showing poor taste or manners

2 : rude or offensive language or behavior

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Comments on vulgarity

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