vul·​gar·​i·​ty | \ ˌvəl-ˈger-rə-tē How to pronounce vulgarity (audio) , -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 When media follows consumer desire, audiences get outrage and vulgarity—and Blatt was more than happy to deliver. Amanda Chicago Lewis, Wired, "Sex Tapes, Hush Money, and Hollywood’s Economy of Secrets," 25 Feb. 2021 In a culture where nonconformity is the only conformity, and vulgarity and coarseness are trendy, trendiness sells. Tribune News Service, cleveland, "Nissan Rogue: There’s nothing rogue about it (review)," 30 Jan. 2021 Certainly Reagan would have deplored Trump’s vulgarity and incivility, and rejected Trump’s policy views on immigration and trade. Timothy Noah, The New Republic, "The End of the 40-Year War on Government," 21 Jan. 2021 Of course, the incendiary vulgarity of the past four years set the bar so low that anything more than a monster truck exhibition might have seemed artful. Washington Post, "America yearns for an era of good feeling. The inaugural ceremony launched one.," 20 Jan. 2021 The pundits Lozada admires the most are those that are above the vulgarity of politics and stress commonality and institution-building. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "What Did Carlos Lozada Learn From Reading 150 Trump Books?," 15 Oct. 2020 Such thinking required things to break, and Trump came into power as a wrecking ball, a role for which his celebrity and vulgarity qualified him well. Rana Dasgupta, Harper's Magazine, "The Silenced Majority," 24 Nov. 2020 In recent years, people on the right have had some screwy ideas of manliness, equating it with belligerence and vulgarity. Jay Nordlinger, National Review, "‘Macho, macho man,’ &c.," 16 Nov. 2020 On the one hand, there is this embrace of public vulgarity. Mary Carole Mccauley,, "John Waters bequeaths his art collection to the Baltimore Museum of Art," 11 Nov. 2020

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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Time Traveler for vulgarity

Time Traveler

The first known use of vulgarity was in 1579

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Statistics for vulgarity

Last Updated

2 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Vulgarity.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Mar. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce vulgarity (audio) \
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

More from Merriam-Webster on vulgarity

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for vulgarity

Nglish: Translation of vulgarity for Spanish Speakers

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