Dictionary.com

euphemism

[ yoo-fuh-miz-uhm ]
/ ˈyu fəˌmɪz əm /
Save This Word!
See synonyms for: euphemism / euphemisms / euphemious / euphemistic on Thesaurus.com

noun

the substitution of a mild, indirect, or vague expression for one thought to be offensive, harsh, or blunt.
the expression so substituted: “To pass away” is a euphemism for “to die.”

QUIZZES

QUIZ YOURSELF ON THE MANY TYPES OF NOUNS

They're everywhere you turn, but can you identify the 10 types of nouns easily? This quiz will test your mettle against singular, plural, concrete, abstract, common, proper, collective, compound, countable, and uncountable nouns!
Question 1 of 7
Shoelaces, rainbow, toothpaste, and haircuts are all what type of noun?

Meet Grammar Coach

Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar helpImprove Your Writing

Meet Grammar Coach

Improve Your Writing
Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar help

Origin of euphemism

1650–60; <Greek euphēmismós the use of words of good omen, equivalent to eu-eu- + phḗm(ē) speaking, fame + -ismos-ism

OTHER WORDS FROM euphemism

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH euphemism

euphemism , euphuism
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for euphemism

British Dictionary definitions for euphemism

euphemism
/ (ˈjuːfɪˌmɪzəm) /

noun

an inoffensive word or phrase substituted for one considered offensive or hurtful, esp one concerned with religion, sex, death, or excreta. Examples of euphemisms are sleep with for have sexual intercourse with; departed for dead; relieve oneself for urinate
the use of such inoffensive words or phrases

Derived forms of euphemism

euphemistic, adjectiveeuphemistically, adverb

Word Origin for euphemism

C17: from Greek euphēmismos, from eu- + phēmē speech
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

Cultural definitions for euphemism

euphemism
[ (yooh-fuh-miz-uhm) ]

An agreeable word or expression substituted for one that is potentially offensive, often having to do with bodily functions, sex, or death; for example, rest room for toilet, lady of the evening for prostitute. The Nazis used euphemism in referring to their plan to murder the world's Jews (see also Jews) as “the Final Solution.”

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
FEEDBACK