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prostitute Line breaks: pros¦ti|tute
Pronunciation: /ˈprɒstɪtjuːt/

Definition of prostitute in English:


A person, typically 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.
male prostitute, rent boy, call boy, gigolo
euphemistic model, escort, masseuse
British tom;
North American sporting girl/woman/lady, chippy
informal pro, moll, tail, brass nail, grande horizontale, woman on the game, working girl, member of the oldest profession, renter, toy boy
North American informal hooker, hustler
black English ho
vulgar slang bumboy
dated tart, streetwalker, woman of the streets, lady/woman of the night, scarlet woman, cocotte
archaic courtesan, strumpet, harlot, trollop, wanton, woman of ill repute, lady of pleasure, Cyprian, doxy, drab, quean, trull, wench
rare sing-song girl, succubus


[with object] Back to top  
1Offer (someone, typically a woman) 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’.
betray, sacrifice, profane, sell, sell out, debase, degrade, demean, devalue, cheapen, lower, misapply, misemploy, misuse, pervert, squander, waste;
abandon one's principles, be untrue to oneself


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 Middle English:

    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 (Late Middle English) literally ‘placed away’ so forsaken; institute (Middle English) something set up or established; restitution (Middle English) a re-establishing; statue (Middle English) something set up; and substitute (Late Middle English) someone set up instead of another. Prostitute (mid 16th century) comes from Latin prostituere ‘expose publicly, offer for sale’, from pro- ‘before’ and statuere ‘set up, place’.



Pronunciation: /ˈprɒstɪtjuːtə/

Words that rhyme with prostitute

destitute • institute

Definition of prostitute in:

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