- The definition of a euphemism is a polite, vague word or phrase that is used in place of word or phrase that might be considered offensive, harsh, unpleasant or inappropriate to say.
An example of a euphemism is someone saying "passed away" instead of "died."
Passed away is a euphemism for someone having died.
- the use of a word or phrase that is less expressive or direct but considered less distasteful, less offensive, etc. than another
- a word or phrase so substituted (Ex.: remains for corpse)
Origin of euphemismClassical Greek euphēmismos ; from euphēmizein, to use words of good omen ; from euphēmos, of good sound or omen ; from eu- (see eu-) + phēmē, speech; from phanai, say: see ban
- A mild, indirect, or vague term for one that is considered harsh, blunt, or offensive: “Euphemisms such as ‘slumber room’ &ellipsis; abound in the funeral business” (Jessica Mitford).
- The use of such terms: “Euphemism is common in hospital and medical facilities where bodily functions need to be discussed” (Diane F. Halpern).
Origin of euphemismGreek euphēmismos, from euphēmizein, to use auspicious words, from euphēmiā, use of auspicious words : eu-, eu- + phēmē, speech; see bhā-2 in Indo-European roots.
(countable and uncountable, plural euphemisms)
Recorded since 1656; from Ancient Greek εὐφημισμός (euphēmismos), from εὐφημίζω (euphēmizō), from εὔφημος (euphēmos, “uttering sound of good omen, abstaining from inauspicious words”), from εὖ (eu, “well”) + φήμη (phēmē, “a voice, a prophetic voice, rumor, talk”), from φάναι (phanai, “to speak, say”).
euphemism - Computer Definition
An agreeable, inoffensive, less offensive, or politically correct (PC) synonym for a word or phrase that is harsh, unpleasant, or offensive. For example, eccentric is a euphemism for someone who is crazy and rich, as opposed to being just plain crazy like the rest of us poor folks. See also Bless his heart, leverage, and PC.