[ vuhl-ger ]
See synonyms for: vulgarvulgarlyvulgarness on

  1. characterized by ignorance of or lack of good breeding or taste: vulgar ostentation.

  2. indecent; obscene; lewd: a vulgar work; a vulgar gesture.

  1. crude; coarse; unrefined: a vulgar peasant.

  2. of, relating to, or constituting the ordinary people in a society: the vulgar masses.

  3. current; popular; common: a vulgar success; vulgar beliefs.

  4. spoken by, or being in the language spoken by, the people generally; vernacular: vulgar tongue.

  5. lacking in distinction, aesthetic value, or charm; banal; ordinary: a vulgar painting.

  1. Archaic. the common people.

  2. Obsolete. the vernacular.

Origin of vulgar

1350–1400; Middle English <Latin vulgāris, equivalent to vulg(us) the general public + -āris-ar1

synonym study For vulgar

1. See common.

usage note For vulgar

Terms that are labeled Vulgar in this dictionary are considered inappropriate in many circumstances because of their association with a taboo subject. Major taboo subjects in English-speaking countries are sex and excretion and the parts of the body associated with those functions.

Other words for vulgar

Other words from vulgar

  • vul·gar·ly, adverb
  • vul·gar·ness, noun
  • un·vul·gar, adjective
  • un·vul·gar·ly, adverb
  • un·vul·gar·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use vulgar in a sentence

  • Many insects vulgarly supposed to be different species are but males and females of one race seeking each other for mating.

  • By the natives it is vulgarly called abon duchem, or, father long-beard.

  • But yet not ready to admit sundry divinations vulgarly raised upon them.

British Dictionary definitions for vulgar


/ (ˈvʌlɡə) /

  1. marked by lack of taste, culture, delicacy, manners, etc: vulgar behaviour; vulgar language

  2. (often capital; usually prenominal) denoting a form of a language, esp of Latin, current among common people, esp at a period when the formal language is archaic and not in general spoken use

  1. archaic

    • of, relating to, or current among the great mass of common people, in contrast to the educated, cultured, or privileged; ordinary

    • (as collective noun; preceded by the): the vulgar

Origin of vulgar

C14: from Latin vulgāris belonging to the multitude, from vulgus the common people

Derived forms of vulgar

  • vulgarly, 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