Definition of prurient in English:



  • Having or encouraging an excessive interest in sexual matters, especially the sexual activity of others.

    ‘she'd been the subject of much prurient curiosity’
    • ‘These type of programmes are cheap (from a production standpoint) puerile, prurient and sadly popular.’
    • ‘Operating on a far more prurient level is Paul Schrader's latest, Auto Focus, the lurid tale of Hogan's Heroes star Bob Crane.’
    • ‘There is something about regulating pornography that causes even the most prurient libertarian to become apoplectic.’
    • ‘Pious people, along with neglectful officials and prurient newspapers, need not worry about the thin dividing line between the demon and the normal citizen.’
    • ‘The best a guy with prurient interests gets to see is one glimpse of Reneé Humphrey, and a few fairly hot scenes of women kissing.’
    • ‘Obscene material is material which deals with sex in a manner appealing to prurient interest.’
    • ‘And it has enough about actual sex to satisfy your prurient side as well.’
    • ‘But beneath the prurient detail lies a stinging indictment of greater Canadian society, police and the mainstream media.’
    • ‘The trouble is, we are a prurient lot, always interested in the sex lives of other people, especially the famous.’
    • ‘If prurient peering into other people's private lives is now an offence, the Home Office should be the first in the dock, with this Act offered as evidence for the prosecution.’
    • ‘But just for a moment, prurient eyes were diverted from Sven-Goran Eriksson and Ulrika Jonsson to an altogether more gloomy European affair.’
    • ‘Indeed, the only possible response to prurient questions is ‘mind your own business’.’
    • ‘People have an in-built prurient curiosity and voyeurism so why should we blame the programme makers for that?’
    • ‘The film, however, while presenting itself as a compassionate treatment, exploits for dramatic purposes the prurient interests of the audience.’
    • ‘In the West, Miike frequently gets pegged as a shock artist, a filmmaker who merits our prurient interest more than our legitimate respect.’
    • ‘Shaun's censorious attitude combines freely with a prurient interest in sexual matters.’
    • ‘Media shift the responsibility for sensationalized coverage to a prurient citizenry's market demands for more blood, gore and opulence.’
    • ‘In some ways, this biography should be applauded for its total absence of the prurient interest so common to most of its peers.’
    • ‘There is a great deal of prurient curiosity surrounding our partnership.’
    • ‘‘Nobody is going to speak freely if they're going to be quoted by ambitious and prurient journalists’.’
    salacious, licentious, voyeuristic, lascivious, lecherous, lustful, lewd, libidinous, lubricious
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Late 16th century (in the sense ‘having a mental itching’): from Latin prurient- ‘itching, longing’ and ‘being wanton’, from the verb prurire.