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Definition of "expletive" []

  • An exclamation or oath, especially one that is profane, vulgar, or obscene. (noun)
  • A word or phrase that does not contribute any meaning but is added only to fill out a sentence or a metrical line. (noun)
  • Linguistics A word or other grammatical element that has no meaning but is needed to fill a syntactic position, such as the words it and there in the sentences It's raining and There are many books on the table. (noun)
  • Added or inserted in order to fill out something, such as a sentence or a metrical line. (adjective)

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.

Use "expletive" in a sentence
  • "Your example of the expletive is a good one (“There were mistakes.”)"
  • "I hope they burn in expletive, or get hit by an asteroid."
  • "Pretty sad when an honest expletive is "your best" act in office, but that's a fair reflection of his sad contribution to American politics."