- 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.
euphemism definition by Webster's New World
- 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: Classical Greek euphēmismos ; from euphēmizein, to use words of good omen ; from euphēmos, of good sound or omen ; from eu- (see eu-) plush phēmē, speech; from phanai, say: see ban
euphemism definition by American Heritage Dictionary
Origin: Greek euphēmismos, from euphēmizein, to use auspicious words, from euphēmiā, use of auspicious words : eu-, eu- + phēmē, speech; see bhā-2 in Indo-European roots.
- euˈphe·mist noun
- euˌphe·misˈtic adjective
- euˌphe·misˈti·cal·ly adverb
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.
euphemism - Cultural Definition
An agreeable word or expression substituted for one that is potentially offensive, often having to do with bodily functions, sex, or death; for example, rest room for toilet, lady of the evening for prostitute. The Nazis used euphemism in referring to their plan to murder the world's Jews (see also Jews) as “the Final Solution.”