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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
polite term, substitute, mild alternative, indirect term, understatement, underplaying, softening, politeness, genteelism, coy termView synonyms
- ‘We have lots of euphemisms for menstruation, and we don't refer to it unless in the company of women, and rarely even then.’
- ‘Women are more likely to use polite euphemisms for topics such as death and sex.’
- ‘Languages are constantly developing euphemisms for sex words.’
- ‘It shows that the trend to hide unpleasant truths behind euphemisms is alive and well.’
- ‘Like all euphemisms, pedophilia and ephebophilia are words meant to protect us from realities too painful to confront.’
- ‘Instead, they hide behind a wall of euphemisms, refusing even to use the word ‘disabled’.’
- ‘As a practical matter, the current legal regime substitutes palliative euphemisms for useful controls on police discretion.’
- ‘She wants to reclaim the word old and rejects euphemisms like elderly and seniors.’
- ‘A simple chat with her could be downright frustrating when she didn't understand half of the euphemisms being used.’
- ‘Each drawn shoe is accompanied by a blunt euphemism from the history of conflict.’
- ‘As I remember, it was shortly after the word gay became the euphemism for homosexual.’
- ‘‘Environmental design’ is just one of the many euphemisms for the ubertrendy catch words Feng Shui.’
- ‘Sir John could be counted on not to speak in mild euphemisms.’
- ‘Ratios are now commonly being used as euphemisms to express calamity.’
- ‘Notably, the word ‘challenge’ was used as a euphemism to gloss over the existence of serious problems.’
- ‘He appeared his boldest; he was not one to speak in mild euphemisms.’
- ‘Such mild, culinary euphemisms muffled and camouflaged the enforced famines and the murders of millions.’
- ‘I don't like euphemisms or euphemistic language.’
- ‘Reform is a polite euphemism for forcing banks to close out bad loans, enforce bankruptcy and require layoffs of excess workers.’
- ‘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.’
Late 16th century: from Greek euphēmismos, from euphēmizein use auspicious words, from eu well + phēmē speaking.
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