[ uh b-seen ]
/ əbˈsin /


offensive to morality or decency; indecent; depraved: obscene language.
causing uncontrolled sexual desire.
abominable; disgusting; repulsive.

Origin of obscene

First recorded in 1585–95, obscene is from the Latin word obscēnus, obscaenus

Related forms

Can be confused

lewd obscene pornographic profanatory profane
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for obscene

British Dictionary definitions for obscene


/ (əbˈsiːn) /


offensive or outrageous to accepted standards of decency or modesty
law (of publications) having a tendency to deprave or corrupt
disgusting; repellentan obscene massacre

Derived Forms

obscenely, adverb

Word Origin for obscene

C16: from Latin obscēnus inauspicious, perhaps related to caenum filth
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