Trend Watch

Comey testimony: 'Salacious and unverified' material

A synonym of 'lascivious' or 'lecherous'

Salacious once again vaulted to the top of our lookups on June 7th, 2017, following use of the word in multiple news reports on the upcoming testimony of former FBI Director James Comey.

As well as the salacious details, the memos also contained allegations of deals struck with Russian officials that could constitute bribes as well as several meetings with Russian officials during the 2016 campaign.
—Jason Le Miere, Newsweek (, 7 Jun. 2017

The former FBI director's first encounter with Trump was in Jan. 6 when Trump was president-elect, for an intelligence briefing on the "salacious and unverified" dossier when Trump was president-elect.
—Veronica Stracqualursi, ABC News (, 7 Jun. 2017

Salacious means "arousing or appealing to sexual desire or imagination" or "lecherous," and may be traced back to a Latin word meaning "to leap," (salire), and has been used to refer to things lascivious since the beginning of the 17th century.

If his Cravat be a Size too Long, there's enough o'th own to make it Shorter, and so banters, befools, and humors them both at once, and sets them a Gossiping from House to House, to cry up the Skill of their New Convert, and Pump Guineas into his Pocket, till they have made him as Proud as Lucifer, as Salacious as a Pamper'd Cardinal, and as Insolent as a Baud in a Brandy Shop.
—Anon., The Character of a Whig, 1700

Salaciousness is the most common noun form of salacious, but salacity is occasionally used as well.

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