Definition of prurient in US English:



  • Having or encouraging an excessive interest in sexual matters.

    ‘she'd been the subject of much prurient curiosity’
    • ‘Obscene material is material which deals with sex in a manner appealing to prurient interest.’
    • ‘But just for a moment, prurient eyes were diverted from Sven-Goran Eriksson and Ulrika Jonsson to an altogether more gloomy European affair.’
    • ‘In some ways, this biography should be applauded for its total absence of the prurient interest so common to most of its peers.’
    • ‘Media shift the responsibility for sensationalized coverage to a prurient citizenry's market demands for more blood, gore and opulence.’
    • ‘Operating on a far more prurient level is Paul Schrader's latest, Auto Focus, the lurid tale of Hogan's Heroes star Bob Crane.’
    • ‘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 film, however, while presenting itself as a compassionate treatment, exploits for dramatic purposes the prurient interests of the audience.’
    • ‘Shaun's censorious attitude combines freely with a prurient interest in sexual matters.’
    • ‘‘Nobody is going to speak freely if they're going to be quoted by ambitious and prurient journalists’.’
    • ‘In the West, Miike frequently gets pegged as a shock artist, a filmmaker who merits our prurient interest more than our legitimate respect.’
    • ‘There is something about regulating pornography that causes even the most prurient libertarian to become apoplectic.’
    • ‘Indeed, the only possible response to prurient questions is ‘mind your own business’.’
    • ‘These type of programmes are cheap (from a production standpoint) puerile, prurient and sadly popular.’
    • ‘But beneath the prurient detail lies a stinging indictment of greater Canadian society, police and the mainstream media.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The trouble is, we are a prurient lot, always interested in the sex lives of other people, especially the famous.’
    • ‘There is a great deal of prurient curiosity surrounding our partnership.’
    • ‘People have an in-built prurient curiosity and voyeurism so why should we blame the programme makers for that?’
    • ‘And it has enough about actual sex to satisfy your prurient side as well.’
    • ‘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.’
    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.