[ 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.
Words nearby expletive
Origin of expletive
OTHER WORDS FROM expletiveex·ple·tive·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
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 forms of expletiveexpletively, 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
Cultural 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.”
notes for expletive
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.