[ih-rot-uh-siz-uh m]


the sexual or erotic quality or character of something.
the use of sexually arousing or suggestive symbolism, settings, allusions, situations, etc., in art, literature, drama, or the like.
the condition of being sexually aroused or excited.
sexual drive or tendency.
an abnormally persistent sexual drive.

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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for eroticism

Contemporary Examples of eroticism

  • “Politics and celebrity — there is a bit of eroticism in the show too, and also cultural critique,” Phillips explains.

  • We Americans are still pretty strong on eroticism, but all too often it is fear that spurs us or restrains us.

    The Daily Beast logo
    How to Fight for Freedom in 2014

    James Poulos

    December 29, 2013

  • Islam has a very rich tradition of sacred sexuality and eroticism.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Osama's Dirty Mind

    Asra Q. Nomani

    May 14, 2011

  • Homoeroticism might be how this particular repressed desire gets expressed, but intimacy is not the same thing as eroticism.

    The Daily Beast logo
    What Don't Ask, Don't Tell Protects

    Brendan Tapley

    December 4, 2010

Historical Examples of eroticism

  • 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)


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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for eroticism




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