[ proor-ee-uhnt ]
See synonyms for: prurientpruriencepruriency on

  1. having, inclined to have, or characterized by lascivious or lustful thoughts, desires, etc.

  2. causing lasciviousness or lust.

  1. having a restless desire or longing.

Origin of prurient

1630–40; <Latin prūrient- (stem of prūriēns), present participle of prūrīre to itch

Other words from prurient

  • pru·ri·ence, pru·ri·en·cy, noun
  • pru·ri·ent·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use prurient in a sentence

  • There is something unpleasant, painful, degrading in this ingenious mingling of prurience and prudery.

    Impressions And Comments | Havelock Ellis
  • There was no angry prurience for fame or gold underlying such complaints.

    William Blake | Algernon Charles Swinburne
  • Burton argues that the "naive indecencies of the text of The Arabian Nights are rather gaudisserie than prurience."

  • He never spoke on this subject with the slobbery grin of the voluptuary, or the leer of prurience.

    Flowers of Freethought | George W. Foote
  • That amazing mixture of sententious moralities, of prurience, and of mawkish sentiment, became the rage of the Town.

British Dictionary definitions for prurient


/ (ˈprʊərɪənt) /

  1. unusually or morbidly interested in sexual thoughts or practices

  2. exciting or encouraging lustfulness; erotic

Origin of prurient

C17: from Latin prūrīre to itch, to lust after

Derived forms of prurient

  • prurience, noun
  • pruriently, adverb

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