Definition of euphemism in English:


Syllabification: eu·phe·mism
Pronunciation: /ˈyo͞ofəˌmizəm


A mild or indirect word or expression substituted for one considered to be too harsh or blunt when referring to something unpleasant or embarrassing: downsizing” as a euphemism for cuts The opposite of dysphemism.
More example sentences
  • As a practical matter, the current legal regime substitutes palliative euphemisms for useful controls on police discretion.
  • Languages are constantly developing euphemisms for sex words.
  • Sir John could be counted on not to speak in mild euphemisms.
polite term, indirect term, circumlocution, substitute, alternative, understatement, genteelism


late 16th century: from Greek euphēmismos, from euphēmizein 'use auspicious words', from eu 'well' + phēmē 'speaking'.

Definition of euphemism in: