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whoremonger

[ hawr-mong-ger, -muhng- ]
/ ˈhɔrˌmɒŋ gər, -ˌmʌŋ- /
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noun
someone who consorts with whores; a lecher or pander.
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Also called whore·mas·ter [hawr-mas-ter, -mah-ster]. /ˈhɔrˌmæs tər, -ˌmɑ stər/.

Origin of whoremonger

First recorded in 1520–30; whore + monger

OTHER WORDS FROM whoremonger

whore·mon·ger·ing, whore·mas·ter·y, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

ABOUT THIS WORD

What does whoremonger mean?

Historically, the word whoremonger referred to a client of a sex worker, or to a person who solicits clients for sex workers.

Whoremonger is rarely used today. When it is used, it is often in a figurative or metaphorical way, especially one intended to criticize the person it is applied to as engaging in or promoting immorality, especially activity considered sexually immoral.

The term’s use of the word whore, an offensive, disapproving term for a sex worker, means it is likely to be considered inappropriate or offensive in many contexts.

Where does whoremonger come from?

The first records of the word whoremonger in English come from the 1520s. It contains the word monger, which is often used in compound words to refer to someone who sells a particular thing, as in fishmonger (a fish seller) or cheesemonger (a cheese seller). However, monger can also be used to mean “a person who is involved with something in a petty or contemptible way,” as in gossipmonger.

That latter meaning of monger seems to be what’s implied when whoremonger is used to mean “a client of a sex worker.” Regardless of its ending, whoremonger is always used in a disapproving way. This is especially due to its use of whore, a much older word that has been in use since before the 1100s. Whore always carries this sense of disapproval, which is why its use is often considered condescending and offensive.

Whoremonger is relatively archaic—meaning it was once in more widespread use, but is rarely used today. It is perhaps best known for appearing in some translations of the Bible.

How is whoremonger used in real life?

Whoremonger is rarely used for either of its literal meanings. When someone does use it today, they usually apply it to a person (especially a public figure like a politician or celebrity) that they are condemning for encouraging some kind of shameful practice, especially what they see as sexual immorality.

British Dictionary definitions for whoremonger

whoremonger
/ (ˈhɔːˌmʌŋɡə) /

noun
a person who consorts with whores; lecher

Derived forms of whoremonger

whoremongery, noun
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
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