Definition of obscenity in English:

obscenity

noun

  • 1The state or quality of being obscene; obscene behavior, language, or images.

    ‘the book was banned for obscenity’
    • ‘When I think of ‘narrative,’ I'm reminded of the Supreme Court Justice asked to define obscenity: I know it when I see it.’
    • ‘First, while obscenity is illegal, pornography is not, when viewed by adults.’
    • ‘For better or worse, the standing ‘test’ for obscenity created by our Supreme Court does not define it in absolute terms, but defers to ‘community standards’.’
    • ‘Wade through the policy statements and obscenity violation documents the Federal Communications Commission makes available to the public, and you will fast get lost in a sea of legal jargon.’
    • ‘This standard allows a state to judge obscenity, at least in part, on the basis of local standards, although there are apparently limits to the extent that idiosyncratically intolerant local standards may apply.’
    • ‘‘Shanghai Baby’ was not the only book banned for obscenity in China.’
    • ‘From common law libel to public obscenity to nude dancing to burning the flag, the Supreme Court has extended legal protection under the aegis of the First Amendment's clause protecting the freedom of speech.’
    • ‘The government has historically used obscenity and copyright laws to stifle the importation of ‘undesirable’ foreign media.’
    • ‘He did not oppose legislation governing obscenity or child pornography, but decried the exploitation of fear of child pornography to further bids to censor the Net.’
    • ‘I've looked at the extradition treaty and there's no extradition for obscenity.’
    • ‘Officials are reviewing several complaints regarding obscenity and lawmakers are moving quickly to provide regulators with even more ammunition.’
    • ‘Morality is one of those things, like obscenity, that arbiters have had a hard time defining.’
    • ‘I have deleted the post involving obscenity and banned the poster from commenting, although they told me that they would not be returning to the site in any event.’
    • ‘Anti-gambling activists argue that economic gains are overstated and legalization would cause obscenity, violence, and other social problems.’
    • ‘Undoubtedly, English law was imprecise on the matter of obscenity, and the jurist might well have found this irritating.’
    • ‘The Net can sometimes seem like a monstrous fountain of obscenity, hate and lies, the ultimate refuge for sociopaths releasing years of pent-up frustration.’
    • ‘Because the Court has ruled that obscenity is not protected speech, the FCC may ban it entirely.’
    • ‘The few restrictions allowed concern such matters as obscenity, libel, national security, and the sometimes conflicting right to a fair trial.’
    • ‘Zine editors, we are told, feel they are immune to the restrictions of copyright, libel and obscenity laws, grammar, punctuation, spelling, and pagination.’
    • ‘The judge then turned to the statutory definition of obscenity and said that it -’
    indecency, immorality, impropriety, salaciousness, smuttiness, smut, lewdness, rudeness, vulgarity, dirtiness, dirt, filthiness, filth, foulness, coarseness, crudeness, grossness, vileness, nastiness, impurity, immodesty, indelicacy, indecorousness, unwholesomeness, scabrousness, ribaldry, bawdiness, suggestiveness, eroticism, carnality, lasciviousness, lechery, licentiousness, libidinousness, degeneracy, depravity, amorality, debauchery, dissoluteness, prurience
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    1. 1.1 An extremely offensive word or expression.
      ‘the men scowled and muttered obscenities’
      • ‘When the game was over, Drew stalked off, muttering obscenities under his breath.’
      • ‘I get up muttering obscenities under my breath as I try to wake up my foot that has decided to fall asleep on me.’
      • ‘All the while, they were shouting obscenities about my mother and other vile profanities.’
      • ‘He furiously pointed at Powell and launched a broadside of obscenities at the Secretary.’
      • ‘He noticed that most of the other words were racist epithets or the standard obscenities.’
      • ‘Andy continued to mutter obscenities to herself, although too low for anyone to hear or see.’
      • ‘He carries 500 pages of juicy swear words and obscenities with him, which never leaves his hands.’
      • ‘I mutter a few obscenities under my breath before trying to ignore him.’
      • ‘If you chanted the kind of obscenities heard tonight at an English football ground you'd be thrown out - probably for life.’
      • ‘A couple of days ago some high school sophomore flooded my comments boxes with obscenities.’
      • ‘One of his opponents was last seen heading for the showers at Laem Chabang muttering obscenities under his breath.’
      • ‘Rick muttered obscenities and threats to kill them all, which she sensibly ignored.’
      • ‘Unfortunately, it is filled with obscenities and blasphemies of the highest order.’
      • ‘Merrick was muttering obscenities and Ryder under his breath while she finished up.’
      • ‘A stream of curses and obscenities streamed through my mind, begging to be screamed.’
      • ‘The extremists have shouted obscenities at her in front of her children and other neighborhood children.’
      • ‘Do you know how hard it is to do accents and voices and obscenities, and make them sound brilliant and funny?’
      • ‘They fell over onto one side of the bike, with the man called Tweeter cursing obscenities as he fell.’
      • ‘As he walked over to our side of the room, I heard him mutter some obscenities under his breath.’
      • ‘Muttering a stream of obscenities, she threw the pan into the sink with a loud clatter.’
      curse, oath, swear word, expletive, profanity, four-letter word, dirty word, blasphemy, imprecation, malediction, vulgarism, vulgarity
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Origin

Late 16th century: from French obscénité or Latin obscaenitas, from obscaenus (see obscene).

Pronunciation

obscenity

/əbˈsenədē/