Definition of obscenity in English:

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Pronunciation: /əbˈsɛnɪti/

noun (plural obscenities)

[mass noun]
1The state or quality of being obscene: the book was banned for obscenity
More example sentences
  • Zine editors, we are told, feel they are immune to the restrictions of copyright, libel and obscenity laws, grammar, punctuation, spelling, and pagination.
  • First, while obscenity is illegal, pornography is not, when viewed by adults.
  • 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.
1.1Obscene behaviour, language, or images: a stream of invective and obscenity
More example sentences
  • They are up to speed in this enlightened world in praising the dramatisation of the sub-culture with the abundance of obscenity and foul language.
  • Even the outrageously physical sport of Rugby League is becoming far less tolerant of obscenity and ill behaviour in an effort to become more palatable to the masses, not less.
  • And, besides all this we do need a language to deal with obscenity.
1.2 [count noun] An extremely offensive word or expression: the men scowled and muttered obscenities
More example sentences
  • He carries 500 pages of juicy swear words and obscenities with him, which never leaves his hands.
  • Unfortunately, it is filled with obscenities and blasphemies of the highest order.
  • When the game was over, Drew stalked off, muttering obscenities under his breath.


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

Words that rhyme with obscenity

lenity, serenity

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: ob¦scen|ity

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