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Word of the Day
Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Definitions for vulgarian

  1. a vulgar person, especially one whose vulgarity is the more conspicuous because of wealth, prominence, or pretensions to good breeding.

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Citations for vulgarian
"Why, he is a perfect vulgarian," she replied, "and I am astonished at Ethel for allowing him to be so much with her." Rosa Vertner Jeffrey, Woodburn, 1864
... the vulgarian's restless jealousy of the class above him made him, on this score, especially intractable and suspicious. Allan McAulay, The Rhymer, 1900
Origin of vulgarian
1640-1650
The Latin noun vulgus (also volgus) meant simply “common people, general public”; it also meant “crowd” and usually had a derogatory sense, but there was nothing of the flashy, tacky nouveau riche in the noun itself or its derivative nouns, adjectives, and verbs, e.g., vulgāre “to make available to the public,” vulgātus ”popular, common, ordinary,” vulgāris “belonging to the common people, conventional.” The Romans claimed to have invented satire, i.e., the genre did not exist among the Greeks. The Romans also created the (literary) type of the current sense of vulgarian “a vulgar person whose vulgarity is the more striking because of wealth, prominence, or pretensions to good breeding.” The first example is Trimalchio, a character in the Satyricon, a Latin novel dating from the mid-first century a.d. written by Gaius Petronius (died ca. 66 a.d.). Trimalchio and most of the Satyricon are familiar nowadays from the movie Fellini Satyricon (1969) by the Italian director Federico Fellini (1920–93). Vulgarian entered English in the early 19th century.