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 Since the 2016 election, I have been pulled into the hostility, vulgarity and division that has come to define American politics. NBC News, "Want to be happier this year? Mental health experts share their resolutions for a less-divisive, healthier 2020," 30 Dec. 2019 Sometimes actually seems to be quite often, as the path to the White House has become a blue streak of vulgarity, cuss words and four-letter effusions. Author: Mark Z. Barabak, Anchorage Daily News, "What the #%&@?! Trump and 2020 Democrats are cursing a blue streak," 24 Sep. 2019 Red, white and new: Nationals rule October in D.C. Taubman’s vulgarity and Verlander’s immaturity is galling enough. Nancy Armour, USA TODAY, "Opinion: MLB needs to address Houston Astros' troubling history of toxic behavior," 22 Oct. 2019 McCain appears to use vulgarity during heated 'View' debate with Behar over Trump. MINDING YOUR BUSINESS Mexico ratifies USMCA trade deal with US, Canada. Fox News, "Iran shoots down US drone in 'clear message'; Trump calls out 'unhinged' Dems in Fox exclusive," 20 June 2019 Behind the film lie the Panama Papers—the millions of files, leaked in 2016, that demonstrated how the wealthy stash their moola offshore and thereby avoid the plebeian vulgarity of tax. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, "Villains Hog the Spotlight in “The Laundromat”," 20 Sep. 2019 Yan’s vulgarity is the flip side of his sensuality, and recalls Upton Sinclair’s line about aiming for his readers’ hearts and hitting them in the stomach. Jamie Fisher, New York Times, "In the Brutality of the Chinese Countryside, ‘Mythorealism’ Reigns," 26 Jan. 2018 The caller said the man, who had luggage, was making phone calls and screaming vulgarities. John Benson,, "Ex-girlfriend threatening to vandalize home: Strongsville Police Blotter," 11 Jan. 2018 Legend called on the first lady to intervene, and Teigen used vulgarities., "Trump insults Teigen and Legend, and they fire back," 10 Sep. 2019

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

12 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Vulgarity.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for vulgarity


How to pronounce vulgarity (audio)

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on vulgarity

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for vulgarity

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with vulgarity

Spanish Central: Translation of vulgarity

Nglish: Translation of vulgarity for Spanish Speakers

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