• synonyms


[proo r-ee-uh nt]
See more synonyms for prurient on Thesaurus.com
  1. having, inclined to have, or characterized by lascivious or lustful thoughts, desires, etc.
  2. causing lasciviousness or lust.
  3. having a restless desire or longing.
Show More

Origin of prurient

1630–40; < Latin prūrient- (stem of prūriēns), present participle of prūrīre to itch
Related formspru·ri·ence, pru·ri·en·cy, nounpru·ri·ent·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for prurience

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

British Dictionary definitions for prurience


  1. unusually or morbidly interested in sexual thoughts or practices
  2. exciting or encouraging lustfulness; erotic
Show More
Derived Formsprurience, nounpruriently, adverb

Word Origin

C17: from Latin prūrīre to itch, to lust after
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

Word Origin and History for prurience


1680s, from prurient + -ence. Related: Pruriency (1660s).

Show More



1630s, "itching," later, and now exclusively, "having an itching desire" (1650s), especially "lascivious, lewd," (1746), from Latin prurientem (nominative pruriens), present participle of prurire "to itch; to long for, be wanton," perhaps related to pruna "glowing coals," from PIE root *preus- "to freeze; burn" (see freeze (v.)). Related: Pruriently.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper