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

Late in the campaign and seeking to reverse the polls, Meade has changed style, adopting a more folksy manner and even tossing off some mild vulgarity. Maria Verza, Fox News, "Ruling party's Meade banking on upset in Mexico election," 26 June 2018 Disenchantment does not indulge in any vulgarity, nudity, gratuitous violence, or other FCC-enraging practices. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Disenchantment review: Groening’s new Netflix toon is off to a bloody good start," 7 Aug. 2018 Making him read his own texts Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., took his five minutes to force Strzok to read some of his own texts - including ones that used vulgarities. Aaron Blake,, "6 key moments from Peter Strzok’s wild hearing," 12 July 2018 Fair warning, there is some vulgarity in the video. Ej Smith,, "Video: Joel Embiid takes on Jayson Tatum and Mo Bamba, Markelle Fultz practices with Drew Hanlen," 11 July 2018 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

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

12 Feb 2019

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on vulgarity

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with vulgarity

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for vulgarity

Spanish Central: Translation of vulgarity

Nglish: Translation of vulgarity for Spanish Speakers

Comments on vulgarity

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to express emotion in a dramatic way

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