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Syllabification: ob·scene
Pronunciation: /əbˈsēn

Definition of obscene in English:


1(Of the portrayal or description of sexual matters) offensive or disgusting by accepted standards of morality and decency: obscene jokes obscene literature
More example sentences
  • Mr Danby suggests rules which include deleting mail containing obscene, racist or offensive material.
  • Football chants are cruel, obscene, offensive, sometimes downright sick and often very funny.
  • They had already beaten up and name-called other boys from his school, and subjected girls to obscene sexual innuendo.
pornographic, indecent, smutty, salacious, dirty, filthy, X-rated, explicit, lewd, rude, vulgar, coarse, crude, offensive, immoral, improper, impure, off-color, degenerate, depraved, debauched;
lubricious, risqué, erotic, carnal, lascivious, licentious, bawdy;
informal blue, porn, porno, skin
euphemistic adult
1.1Offensive to moral principles; repugnant: using animals' skins for fur coats is obscene
More example sentences
  • If only she could express it without employing obscene moral parallels.
  • The obscene inequalities of wealth dividing rich and poor nations must be reduced.
  • The principal explanation lies in the obscene moral inversion of victim culture.


late 16th century: from French obscène or Latin obscaenus 'ill-omened or abominable'.



Example sentences
  • New Zealand, I hope you'll rise to the challenge and set an example for other obscenely beautiful countries to follow.
  • Although slavery is now illegal, in some countries workers on coffee farms are paid obscenely low wages to work in the hot sun handpicking the cherries.
  • Lots of footballers go, and some of the rooms are palatial, but others are teeny-weeny; I think it's obscenely overpriced for what it is.

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