Synonym Chooser

How is the word vulgar different from other adjectives like it?

Some common synonyms of vulgar are coarse, gross, obscene, and ribald. While all these words mean "offensive to good taste or morals," vulgar often implies boorishness or ill-breeding.

a loud vulgar belch

When is it sensible to use coarse instead of vulgar?

While the synonyms coarse and vulgar are close in meaning, coarse implies roughness, rudeness, or crudeness of spirit, behavior, or language.

found the coarse humor of coworkers offensive

When might gross be a better fit than vulgar?

The synonyms gross and vulgar are sometimes interchangeable, but gross implies extreme coarseness and insensitiveness.

gross eating habits

In what contexts can obscene take the place of vulgar?

While in some cases nearly identical to vulgar, obscene applies to anything strongly repulsive to the sense of decency and propriety especially in sexual matters.

obscene language not allowed on the air

Where would ribald be a reasonable alternative to vulgar?

In some situations, the words ribald and vulgar are roughly equivalent. However, ribald applies to what is amusingly or picturesquely vulgar or irreverent or mildly indecent.

entertained the campers with ribald folk songs

Thesaurus Entries Near vulgar

Cite this Entry

“Vulgar.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Apr. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on vulgar

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