Definition of prostitute in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈprɒstɪtjuːt/


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 behaves unworthily for personal or financial gain: careerist political prostitutes


[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 for 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: /ˈprɒstɪtjuːtə/


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

Line breaks: pros¦ti|tute

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