• synonyms


[ih-rot-uh-siz-uh m]
See more synonyms for eroticism on Thesaurus.com
  1. the sexual or erotic quality or character of something.
  2. the use of sexually arousing or suggestive symbolism, settings, allusions, situations, etc., in art, literature, drama, or the like.
  3. the condition of being sexually aroused or excited.
  4. sexual drive or tendency.
  5. an abnormally persistent sexual drive.
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Also er·o·tism [er-uh-tiz-uh m] /ˈɛr əˌtɪz əm/.

Origin of eroticism

First recorded in 1880–85; erotic + -ism
Related formse·rot·i·cist, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for eroticism

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Eroticism is no more a vice than sexual anæsthesia is a virtue.

  • There are yet other evidences of degeneration; witness the eroticism that is to be found in our literature.

  • He lacks passion, and he is never wanton; his eroticism is only Epicureanism.

    Anatole France

    Georg Morris Cohen Brandes

  • But that which he knew best of all was the history of eroticism.

    Idling in Italy

    Joseph Collins

  • She was a person of strong common sense, and this mixture of religion and eroticism disgusted her.


    H. Rider Haggard

British Dictionary definitions for eroticism


erotism (ˈɛrəˌtɪzəm)

  1. erotic quality or nature
  2. the use of sexually arousing or pleasing symbolism in literature or art
  3. sexual excitement or desire
  4. a tendency to exalt sex
  5. psychol an overt display of sexual behaviour
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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

Word Origin and History for eroticism


1881, from erotic + -ism.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

eroticism in Medicine


  1. Sexual excitement.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.