Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.

EXAMPLES FROM THE WEB FOR OBSCENE

And a third showed the horn of an ox, with an obscene inscription.

He growled an obscene oath as he heaved the great oar forward.

Hargus repeated the prisoner's request with obscene embellishment.

Between them they dragged into the light the obscene burden.

But Tonet made an obscene gesture, and started to put the jacket on.

Obscene words were scrawled on the walls, and even on the pulpit itself.

They laugh at our music, they scoff at our arts and twist them into obscene mockeries.

Their songs and games are exceedingly licentious, and their myths are obscene.

The obscene rites were at war with the current mores of the people at the time.

Out of this has come the notion of what is obscene, as the extreme of indecency and impropriety.

WORD ORIGIN

1590s, "offensive to the senses, or to taste and refinement," from Middle French obscène (16c.), from Latin obscenus "offensive," especially to modesty, originally "boding ill, inauspicious," of unknown origin; perhaps from ob "onto" (see ob-) + caenum "filth." Meaning "offensive to modesty or decency" is attested from 1590s. Legally, in U.S., it hinged on "whether to the average person, applying contemporary community standards, the dominant theme of the material taken as a whole appeals to a prurient interest." [Justice William Brennan, "Roth v. United States," June 24, 1957]; refined in 1973 by "Miller v. California":

Related: Obscenely.

MORE RELATED WORDS FOR OBSCENE

Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.