- obsceneDuring a century that tried repeatedly to define the meaning and implications of obscenity in relation to literature, the performing arts, and (above all) the cinema, the word obscene gathered strength in its other main meaning, ‘highly offensive or repugnant’ as a moral condemnation of social circumstances such as poverty and wealth, violence, human exploitation, etc. Some examples follow:
• Something in the very robustness of Germany's economy seemed to the terrorists and their sympathizers profoundly obscene —Time, 1977
• The idea of these old women being walled up and told what to do by a superstitious parson was (Tibba allowed herself the modernism) obscene —A. N. Wilson, 1982
• His pay was branded ‘utterly obscene’ amid calls for him to quit and drop his name from the company —Daily Mirror, 1992.
Modern English usage. 2014.
Look at other dictionaries:
obscène — [ ɔpsɛn ] adj. • 1534; lat. obscenus « de mauvais augure » ♦ Qui blesse la délicatesse par des représentations ou des manifestations grossières de la sexualité. « Les livres les plus monstrueusement obscènes » (Hugo). ⇒ licencieux, pornographique … Encyclopédie Universelle
obscene — ob·scene /äb sēn/ adj [Middle French, from Latin obscenus obscaenus indecent, lewd]: extremely or deeply offensive according to contemporary community standards of morality or decency see also roth v. united states in the important cases section… … Law dictionary
Obscene — Ob*scene , a. [L. obscenus, obscaenus, obscoenus, ill looking, filthy, obscene: cf. F. obsc[ e]ne.] [1913 Webster] 1. Offensive to chastity or modesty; expressing or presenting to the mind or view something which delicacy, purity, and decency… … The Collaborative International Dictionary of English
obscene — OBSCENE, adj. de tout genre. Deshonneste, sale, qui blesse la pudeur. Paroles obscenes. mot obscene. ce poëte est obscene. chanson obscene. il y a quelque chose d obscene dans ce tableau. cela laisse des idées obscenes … Dictionnaire de l'Académie française
obscene — (adj.) 1590s, offensive to the senses, or to taste and refinement, from M.Fr. obscene, from L. obscenus offensive, especially to modesty, originally boding ill, inauspicious, of unknown origin; perhaps from ob onto (see OB (Cf. ob )) + caenum… … Etymology dictionary
obscene — ► ADJECTIVE 1) offending accepted standards of decency; offensive or disgusting. 2) morally repugnant through being excessive: obscene pay rises. DERIVATIVES obscenely adverb. ORIGIN Latin obscaenus ill omened, abominable … English terms dictionary
obscene — [äb sēn′, əbsēn′] adj. [Fr obscène < L obscenus, obscaenus < obs , var. of ob (see OB ) + caenum, filth < IE * k̑weino < base * kwei , muck, filth > ON hvein, swampy land] 1. offensive to one s feelings, or to prevailing notions,… … English World dictionary
obscene — gross, vulgar, ribald, *coarse Analogous words: indecent, indelicate, *indecorous: lewd, lascivious, wanton, *licentious: foul, nasty, *dirty Antonyms: decent … New Dictionary of Synonyms
obscene — [adj] indecent, offensive, immoral atrocious, barnyard*, bawdy, blue*, coarse, crude, dirty*, disgusting, evil, filthy, foul, gross, heinous, hideous, horrible, immodest, improper, impure, lascivious, lewd, licentious, loathsome, loose*, lustful … New thesaurus
obscene — [[t]ɒbsi͟ːn[/t]] 1) ADJ GRADED If you describe something as obscene, you mean it offends you because it relates to sex or violence in a way that you think is unpleasant and shocking. I m not prudish but I think these photographs are obscene... He … English dictionary