Definition of profanity in English:


Line breaks: pro¦fan|ity
Pronunciation: /prəˈfanɪti

noun (plural profanities)

[mass noun]
1Blasphemous or obscene language: an outburst of profanity
More example sentences
  • Janis Joplin is fined $200 for violating local profanity and obscenity laws for her performance after a concert in Tampa, Florida.
  • The atmosphere of the billiard room, it was suggested in South Shields, was also conducive to profanity and bad language.
  • Zora raises her hand: ‘Never use profanity or inappropriate language.’
1.1 [count noun] A swear word; an oath: a man with bloodied chin mouthing profanities
More example sentences
  • I didn't notice him until he ejected a stream of swear words and profanities when we were told to leave the train and wait on platform three.
  • Looking over my shoulder, it was alarming to see 20 people in black charging through gravestones, mouthing profanities.
  • His mumbled curses and profanities were becoming more and more apparent.
1.2Irreligious or irreverent behaviour.
More example sentences
  • Others, touching on areas that range from elements of sexuality, to the treatment of the dead and dying, to bodily indignity and even profanity and sacrilege, are of course more controversial.
  • Despite gospel-centred ministries, and various societies dedicated to moral reform, homosexuality, profanity, immorality, drunkenness and gluttony were widespread.
  • Not by abandoning all to profanity, but by extending the reach of sacred time and space.


mid 16th century: from late Latin profanitas, from Latin profanus 'not sacred' (see profane).

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