Definition of obscene in English:



  • 1(of the portrayal or description of sexual matters) offensive or disgusting by accepted standards of morality and decency.

    ‘obscene jokes’
    • ‘It is the voyeur in the audience who is the reason for offensive and obscene scenes in films.’
    • ‘The content should more realistically be described as obscene language.’
    • ‘He remembered the girls going into the pub and conceded that one of the group had made a remark about them which was very offensive and highly obscene.’
    • ‘Mr Danby suggests rules which include deleting mail containing obscene, racist or offensive material.’
    • ‘This poem uses obscene words to describe obscene acts and obscene attitudes.’
    • ‘The court said obscene material should be judged by local standards.’
    • ‘It is considered rude, even obscene in Japan, Greece, Spain and some South American states.’
    • ‘They had already beaten up and name-called other boys from his school, and subjected girls to obscene sexual innuendo.’
    • ‘They said the film was obscene and vulgar and showed women in a poor light.’
    • ‘If someone leaves a comment, it appears as written unless the comment is obscene or vulgar.’
    • ‘It also facilitates adults with a sexual interest in children to view obscene material and trade it.’
    • ‘Every day, he says, children would hurl obscene and offensive abuse at teachers.’
    • ‘Football chants are cruel, obscene, offensive, sometimes downright sick and often very funny.’
    • ‘Some women might like their men to talk dirty but this was obscene filth.’
    • ‘Thereafter, colonial censors turned their attention more closely to stamping out obscene literature.’
    • ‘At that moment, they noticed I was watching them and greeted me with a tirade of foul language and obscene gestures.’
    • ‘Any local band can apply to play a set on stage, but organisers are warning acts that obscene lyrics and lewd behaviour are out of the question.’
    • ‘All 520 copies were confiscated under a charge of obscene literature.’
    • ‘It may be said that this movie is crude, profane, and even obscene at times - but so is war.’
    • ‘You many not choose a name that is obscene, offensive, unreasonably long or contrary to public interest.’
    pornographic, indecent, salacious, smutty, x-rated, lewd, rude, dirty, filthy, vulgar, foul, coarse, crude, gross, vile, nasty, disgusting, offensive, shameless, immoral, improper, immodest, impure, indecorous, indelicate, unwholesome, scabrous, off colour, lubricious, risqué, ribald, bawdy, suggestive, titillating, racy, erotic, carnal, sensual, sexy, lascivious, lecherous, licentious, libidinous, goatish, degenerate, depraved, amoral, debauched, dissolute, prurient
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    1. 1.1 Offending against moral principles; repugnant.
      ‘using animals' skins for fur coats is obscene’
      • ‘As each news bulletin heralds an upwards revision of long past obscene totals, alternative conclusions are easy to avoid.’
      • ‘The principal explanation lies in the obscene moral inversion of victim culture.’
      • ‘The obscene inequalities of wealth dividing rich and poor nations must be reduced.’
      • ‘If only she could express it without employing obscene moral parallels.’
      • ‘It becomes the vehicle for corporate branding of the most vulgar sort and it encourages waste on an obscene scale.’
      • ‘Few people today would describe the First World War as anything other than an obscene slaughter.’
      • ‘I palmed the offending items into a napkin and slipped the obscene bundle into my trouser pocket for disposal later.’
      shocking, scandalous, vile, foul, atrocious, outrageous, heinous, wicked, evil, odious, abhorrent, abominable, disgusting, hideous, repugnant, repulsive, revolting, repellent, obnoxious, offensive, objectionable, loathsome, hateful, nauseating, sickening, awful, dreadful, terrible, frightful, ghastly
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Late 16th century: from French obscène or Latin obscaenus ‘ill-omened or abominable’.