Definition of euphemism in English:

euphemism

noun

  • A mild or indirect word or expression substituted for one considered to be too harsh or blunt when referring to something unpleasant or embarrassing:

    ‘the jargon has given us ‘downsizing’ as a euphemism for cuts’
    The opposite of dysphemism
    • ‘He appeared his boldest; he was not one to speak in mild euphemisms.’
    • ‘She wants to reclaim the word old and rejects euphemisms like elderly and seniors.’
    • ‘As a practical matter, the current legal regime substitutes palliative euphemisms for useful controls on police discretion.’
    • ‘Sir John could be counted on not to speak in mild euphemisms.’
    • ‘It shows that the trend to hide unpleasant truths behind euphemisms is alive and well.’
    • ‘It was like a euphemism for a dirty word, he'd rather people'd just said the word than try to make it seem nicer.’
    • ‘Such mild, culinary euphemisms muffled and camouflaged the enforced famines and the murders of millions.’
    • ‘A simple chat with her could be downright frustrating when she didn't understand half of the euphemisms being used.’
    • ‘Instead, they hide behind a wall of euphemisms, refusing even to use the word ‘disabled’.’
    • ‘‘Environmental design’ is just one of the many euphemisms for the ubertrendy catch words Feng Shui.’
    • ‘Each drawn shoe is accompanied by a blunt euphemism from the history of conflict.’
    • ‘Reform is a polite euphemism for forcing banks to close out bad loans, enforce bankruptcy and require layoffs of excess workers.’
    • ‘We have lots of euphemisms for menstruation, and we don't refer to it unless in the company of women, and rarely even then.’
    • ‘Notably, the word ‘challenge’ was used as a euphemism to gloss over the existence of serious problems.’
    • ‘I don't like euphemisms or euphemistic language.’
    • ‘Like all euphemisms, pedophilia and ephebophilia are words meant to protect us from realities too painful to confront.’
    • ‘Women are more likely to use polite euphemisms for topics such as death and sex.’
    • ‘Languages are constantly developing euphemisms for sex words.’
    • ‘As I remember, it was shortly after the word gay became the euphemism for homosexual.’
    • ‘Ratios are now commonly being used as euphemisms to express calamity.’
    polite term, substitute, mild alternative, indirect term, understatement, underplaying, softening, politeness, genteelism, coy term
    View synonyms

Origin

Late 16th century: from Greek euphēmismos, from euphēmizein use auspicious words, from eu well + phēmē speaking.

Pronunciation:

euphemism

/ˈjuːfəmɪz(ə)m/