What does euphemism mean?

Definitions for euphemism
ˈyu fəˌmɪz əmeu·phemism

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word euphemism.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. euphemismnoun

    an inoffensive or indirect expression that is substituted for one that is considered offensive or too harsh


  1. euphemismnoun

    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.

  2. euphemismnoun

    A word or phrase that is used to replace another in this way.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Euphemismnoun

    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

  2. Etymology: [Gr. fr. to use word of a good omen; e'y^ well + to speak: cf. F. euphmisme. See Fame.]


  1. Euphemism

    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

  1. Euphemism

    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. euphēmismoseuphēmoseu, well, phēmēphanaí, to speak.]

The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Euphemism

    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."

Matched Categories

How to pronounce euphemism?

How to say euphemism in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of euphemism in Chaldean Numerology is: 5

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of euphemism in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of euphemism in a Sentence

  1. John McCain:

    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.

  2. Ronan Farrow:

    They had a euphemism at this company called enhanced severance.

  3. Matthew Vadum:

    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.

  4. Joe Biden:

    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.'.

  5. Keir Giles:

    ' Deportation' is a euphemism. It's been used as a fairly innocuous term for what happened to these people, which was effectively enslavement and starvation. is shipping off the women, the children, the people that you want to remove from societies in order to neutralize them, they are generally met with pretty horrific fates. If they survived at all, they did not return for years or decades.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for euphemism

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for euphemism »


Find a translation for the euphemism definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:

Discuss these euphemism definitions with the community:



    Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


    "euphemism." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 10 Aug. 2022. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/euphemism>.

    Are we missing a good definition for euphemism? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Image or illustration of


    Browse Definitions.net

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!


    Are you a words master?

    of all varieties or forms or kinds
    • A. equivalent
    • B. omnifarious
    • C. appellative
    • D. occlusive

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for euphemism: