Definition of scare quotes in English:

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scare quotes

plural noun

Quotation marks placed round a word or phrase to draw attention to an unusual or arguably inaccurate use.
Example sentences
  • I carefully put scare quotes around words such as ‘pleasure’ and ‘suffering’ in describing positive and negative emotional states.
  • It is difficult not to put scare quotes around the word spiritual, which is notoriously vague, if not meaningless, in contemporary usage.
  • I can't imagine scare quotes big enough for that word.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: scare quotes

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