[ ek-spli-tiv ]
/ ˈɛk splɪ tɪv /
an interjectory word or expression, frequently profane; an exclamatory oath.
a syllable, word, or phrase serving to fill out.
Grammar. a word considered as regularly filling the syntactic position of another, as it in It is his duty to go, or there in There is nothing here.
Also ex·ple·to·ry [ek-spli-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /ˈɛk splɪˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/. added merely to fill out a sentence or line, give emphasis, etc.: Expletive remarks padded the speech.
These Words Were Too Awkward To Stay In Regular UseRead more in this article about some frequently asked questions and fun facts related to our definitions.
Origin of expletive
Related formsex·ple·tive·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for expletively
/ (ɪkˈspliːtɪv) /
an exclamation or swearword; an oath or a sound expressing an emotional reaction rather than any particular meaning
any syllable, word, or phrase conveying no independent meaning, esp one inserted in a line of verse for the sake of the metre
adjective Also: expletory (ɪkˈspliːtərɪ)
expressing no particular meaning, esp when filling out a line of verse
Derived Formsexpletively, adverb
Word Origin for expletive
C17: from Late Latin explētīvus for filling out, from explēre, from plēre to fill
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
Culture definitions for expletively
[ (ek-spluh-tiv) ]
Any exclamation or oath, especially one that is obscene or profane, as in “Dammit, I forgot to buy the milk.”
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.