[ dis-fuh-miz-uhm ]
/ ˈdɪs fəˌmɪz əm /


the substitution of a harsh, disparaging, or unpleasant expression for a more neutral one.
an expression so substituted, as “cancer stick” for “cigarette.”

Origin of dysphemism

First recorded in 1880–85; dys- + (eu)phemism

ANTONYMS FOR dysphemism

Related forms

dys·phe·mis·tic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for dysphemism


/ (ˈdɪsfɪˌmɪzəm) /


substitution of a derogatory or offensive word or phrase for an innocuous one
the word or phrase so substituted

Derived Forms

dysphemistic, adjective

Word Origin for dysphemism

C19: dys- + euphemism
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