Definition of prostitute in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈprɑstəˌt(j)ut/


1A person, in particular a woman, who engages in sexual activity for payment.
Example sentences
  • Others attended the ‘circuses’ in which prostitutes performed sexual stunts.
  • He had, once he had achieved adolescence, moved from prostitute to prostitute, whore to whore, but he had never yet known love.
  • Such laws effectively deny prostitutes the right to work indoors in a warm, safe, and clean place.
1.1A person who misuses their talents or who sacrifices their self-respect for the sake of personal or financial gain: careerist political prostitutes
More example sentences
  • During the coming months there will be many political prostitutes and opportunists emerging like crabs from the muddy filth of deception and greed.
  • I want to see philosopher kings, not political prostitutes pandering to special interests.
  • Or is this essentially a squabble among the political prostitutes of corporate America over the best method for conducting their sordid business?


[with object]
1Offer (someone) for sexual activity in exchange for payment: although she was paid $15 to join a man at his table, she never prostituted herself
More example sentences
  • The local bartender runs a brothel, prostituting his own wife for kicks.
  • He prostituted his wife and forced his children to beg to support his drug habit.
  • He also describes him as a cruel and wicked leader who prostituted his daughter when he ran short of money.
1.1Put (oneself or one's talents) to an unworthy or corrupt use or purpose for the sake of personal or financial gain: his willingness to prostitute himself to the worst instincts of the electorate
More example sentences
  • The wilderness towns gaily prostitute themselves to such people.
  • The day-to-day experiences of persons who are prostituting themselves are equally bleak.
  • If she does, it will not be because she has prostituted her talents like most modern female ‘pop stars’.



Pronunciation: /ˈprɑstəˌt(j)udər/


mid 16th century (as a verb): from Latin prostitut- 'exposed publicly, offered for sale', from the verb prostituere, from pro- 'before' + statuere 'set up, place'.

  • constitution from [ME]:

    A constitution once referred to a law, as well as to a body of laws or customs. It comes from Latin constituere ‘establish, appoint’ from con- ‘together’ and statuere ‘set up, place’. The latter is a rich source of English words including destitute[LME] literally ‘placed away’ so forsaken; institute[ME] something set up or established; restitution[ME] a re-establishing; statue[ME] something set up; and substitute[LME] someone set up instead of another. Prostitute[M16th] comes from Latin prostituere ‘expose publicly, offer for sale’, from pro- ‘before’ and statuere ‘set up, place’.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: pros·ti·tute

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