Definition of "euphemism" []

  • The act or an example of substituting a mild, indirect, or vague term for one considered harsh, blunt, or offensive: "Euphemisms such as 'slumber room' . . . abound in the funeral business” ( Jessica Mitford). (noun)
  • An inoffensive word or phrase substituted for one considered offensive or hurtful, esp one concerned with religion, sex, death, or excreta. Examples of euphemisms are sleep with for have sexual intercourse with; departed for dead; relieve oneself for urinate (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

  • The use of such inoffensive words or phrases (noun) (c) HarperCollins Publishers Ltd 2016

Use "euphemism" in a sentence
  • "“We live in interesting times” — even if the euphemism is apocryphal, its truth value is the same."
  • "PC euphemism is an insult to everyone's intelligence and an assault on free speech, human dignity, and the English language."
  • "Populated by a subculture comprised of wizened mechanics, poignant, heroic street urchins, crack-addicted car dwellers, Foreign Parts is a documentary about the fading Steinbeckian (to deal in euphemism) marketplace that is the Willets Point car repair strip in Queens, NY, where a cluster of garages with deep inventories of all manner of car parts from all manner of vehicle, furnish countless savvy, budget-conscious New Yorkers with daily miracles plucked from endless shelves and heaps."