an inoffensive or indirect expression that is substituted for one that is considered offensive or too harsh
The use of a word or phrase to replace another with one that is considered less offensive or less vulgar than the word or phrase it replaces.
A word or phrase that is used to replace another in this way.
a figure in which a harts or indelicate word or expression is softened; a way of describing an offensive thing by an inoffensive expression; a mild name for something disagreeable
Origin: [Gr. fr. to use word of a good omen; e'y^ well + to speak: cf. F. euphmisme. See Fame.]
A euphemism is a generally innocuous word or expression used in place of one that may be found offensive or suggest something unpleasant. Some euphemisms are intended to amuse, while others use bland, inoffensive, and often misleading terms for things the user wishes to dissimulate or downplay. Euphemisms are used for dissimulation, to refer to taboo topics in a polite way, and to mask profanity. The opposite of euphemism roughly equates to dysphemism. Euphemisms may be used to avoid words considered rude, while conveying their meaning: "Kiss my you-know-what!" instead of the more vulgar, "Kiss my ass/arse"; the expletive sugar to substitute shit. Some euphemisms are so commonly used as to be standard usage: "pass away" for "die". Over the centuries euphemisms have been introduced for "latrine", and themselves replaced as they came to be considered unacceptable; "toilet", once itself a euphemism, is often euphemised as "bathroom", "restroom", etc. Euphemisms are used to downplay and conceal unpalatable facts, as "collateral damage" for "civilian casualties" in a military context, and "redacted" for "censored".
Chambers 20th Century Dictionary
ū′fem-izm, n. a figure of rhetoric by which an unpleasant or offensive thing is designated by an indirect and milder term.—v.t. or v.i. Eu′phemise, to express by a euphemism: to use euphemistic terms.—adj. Euphemist′ic.—adv. Euphemist′ically. [Gr. euphēmismos—euphēmos—eu, well, phēmē—phanaí, to speak.]
The Nuttall Encyclopedia
is in speech or writing the avoiding of an unpleasant or indelicate word or expression by the use of one which is less direct, and which calls up a less disagreeable image in the mind. Thus for "he died" is substituted "he fell asleep," or "he is gathered to his fathers"; thus the Greeks called the "Furies" the "Eumenides," "the benign goddesses," just as country people used to call elves and fairies "the good folk neighbours."
The numerical value of euphemism in Chaldean Numerology is: 5
The numerical value of euphemism in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1
Sample Sentences & Example Usage
Nature is an outcry, unpolished truth; the art—a euphemism—tamed wilderness.
Unfortunately, it appears ‘deconfliction’ is merely an Orwellian euphemism for this administration’s acceptance of Russia’s expanded role in Syria, and as a consequence, for Assad’s continued brutalization of the Syrian people.
Now, that was a euphemism, i thought I was really, really in trouble. My father never once raised his hand to any one of his children — never once — and I thought I was in trouble. He pulled me aside and said, 'Joey, you shouldn't do that, but I'm proud of you, son.'.
There are hundreds of sanctuary jurisdictions across the country. Some left-wingers use the dreadful euphemism "civil liberties safe zones" to describe them. The phrase blurs the distinction between citizens and non-citizens by implying illegal aliens somehow possess a civil right to be present in the U.S.
Images & Illustrations of euphemism
Translations for euphemism
From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary
- eufemismeCatalan, Valencian
- eŭfemismo, evitvortoEsperanto
- kiertoilmaus, kiertoilmaisu, eufemismiFinnish
- fegrunarheiti, skrautyrði, veigrunarorð, skrauthvörfIcelandic
- 婉曲法, 婉曲表現Japanese
- [[완곡하다, [[돌리다, 완곡어법, 완곡어Korean
- bahasa halusMalay
- eufemisme, evfemismeNorwegian
- eufemisme, verbloemingDutch
- eufemisme, evfemismeNorwegian Nynorsk
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