obscenity

[ uh b-sen-i-tee, -see-ni- ]
/ əbˈsɛn ɪ ti, -ˈsi nɪ- /

noun, plural ob·scen·i·ties for 2, 3.

the character or quality of being obscene; indecency; lewdness.
something obscene, as a picture or story.
an obscene word or expression, especially when used as an invective.

Origin of obscenity

1600–10; < French obscenité < Latin obscēnitās, equivalent to obscēn(us) obscene + -itās -ity

Related forms

an·ti·ob·scen·i·ty, noun, plural an·ti·ob·scen·i·ties, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for obscenity

British Dictionary definitions for obscenity

obscenity

/ (əbˈsɛnɪtɪ) /

noun plural -ties

the state or quality of being obscene
an obscene act, statement, word, etc
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 obscenity

obscenity


Behavior, appearance, or expression (such as films and books) that violate accepted standards of sexual morality. American courts have long tried to define obscenity but without much success. Some believe, for example, that any depiction of nudity is obscene; others would argue that nudity in itself is not obscene. (See four-letter words (see also four-letter words) and pornography.)

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.