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90s Slang You Should Know


[vuhl-ger] /ˈvʌl gər/
characterized by ignorance of or lack of good breeding or taste:
vulgar ostentation.
indecent; obscene; lewd:
a vulgar work; a vulgar gesture.
crude; coarse; unrefined:
a vulgar peasant.
of, relating to, or constituting the ordinary people in a society:
the vulgar masses.
current; popular; common:
a vulgar success; vulgar beliefs.
spoken by, or being in the language spoken by, the people generally; vernacular:
vulgar tongue.
lacking in distinction, aesthetic value, or charm; banal; ordinary:
a vulgar painting.
Archaic. the common people.
Obsolete. the vernacular.
Origin of vulgar
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin vulgāris, equivalent to vulg(us) the general public + -āris -ar1
Related forms
vulgarly, adverb
vulgarness, noun
unvulgar, adjective
unvulgarly, adverb
unvulgarness, noun
1. unrefined, inelegant, low, coarse, ribald. 3. boorish, rude. 6. colloquial.
Synonym Study
1. See common.
Usage note
Terms that are labeled Vulgar in this dictionary are considered inappropriate in many circumstances because of their association with a taboo subject. Major taboo subjects in English-speaking countries are sex and excretion and the parts of the body associated with those functions. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for vulgarly
Historical Examples
  • Strange to say, hundreds live in this way, which is vulgarly called "scratching" in New York.

  • So enough; come with me and learn how to be vulgarly robust.

    A Woman Tenderfoot Grace Gallatin Seton-Thompson
  • How many essential refinements, as he foolishly and vulgarly counted them, were lacking here!

    Home Again George MacDonald
  • He is, by the way, not half such a fool as he looks and is vulgarly supposed to be.

    Two Sides of the Face Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch
  • They may be vulgarly described as "sneaks," and I would not keep a dog of this description.

    A Manual of Toy Dogs Mrs. Leslie Williams
  • He then made what can only be described, vulgarly, as a distinct 'eye.'

    The Limit Ada Leverson
  • And it is vulgarly imagined that to have money is to have no troubles at all!

    Kipps H. G. Wells
  • I certainly say it distinctly enough—brutally and vulgarly enough.

    Washington Square Henry James
  • You still have in your hand what is vulgarly called the "fourchette," or alternate cards, to win the game with.

    The Sharper Detected and Exposed Jean-Eugne Robert-Houdin
  • That oon, the one; that other, the other (vulgarly, the tother).

British Dictionary definitions for vulgarly


marked by lack of taste, culture, delicacy, manners, etc: vulgar behaviour, vulgar language
(often capital; usually prenominal) denoting a form of a language, esp of Latin, current among common people, esp at a period when the formal language is archaic and not in general spoken use
  1. of, relating to, or current among the great mass of common people, in contrast to the educated, cultured, or privileged; ordinary
  2. (as collective noun; preceded by the): the vulgar
Derived Forms
vulgarly, adverb
Word Origin
C14: from Latin vulgāris belonging to the multitude, from vulgus the common people
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for vulgarly



late 14c., "common, ordinary," from Latin vulgaris "of or pertaining to the common people, common, vulgar," from vulgus "the common people, multitude, crowd, throng," from PIE root *wel- "to crowd, throng" (cf. Sanskrit vargah "division, group," Greek eilein "to press, throng," Middle Breton gwal'ch "abundance," Welsh gwala "sufficiency, enough"). Meaning "coarse, low, ill-bred" is first recorded 1640s, probably from earlier use (with reference to people) with meaning "belonging to the ordinary class" (1530).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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