- The definition of an expletive is a crude or obscene expression, or an unnecessary word or phrase used to fill space in a sentence for grammar or rhythm purposes.
- An example of an expletive is saying "damn it."
- An example of an expletive is adding "it is" in the sentence "time for us to eat."
- an oath or exclamation, esp. an obscenity
- a word, phrase, etc. not needed for the sense but used merely to fill out a sentence or metrical line, for grammar, rhythm, balance, etc.: there in “there is nothing left” is an expletive
- Rare anything serving as a filler
Origin of expletiveLate Latin expletivus, serving to fill ; from Classical Latin expletus, past participle of explere, to fill ; from ex-, out, up + plere, to fill: see full
used to fill out a sentence, line, etc.
- An exclamation or oath, especially one that is profane, vulgar, or obscene.
- a. A word or phrase that does not contribute any meaning but is added only to fill out a sentence or a metrical line.b. Linguistics A word or other grammatical element that has no meaning but is needed to fill a syntactic position, such as the words it and there in the sentences It's raining and There are many books on the table.
Added or inserted in order to fill out something, such as a sentence or a metrical line.
Origin of expletiveFrom Late Latin explētīvus, serving to fill out, from Latin explētus, past participle of explēre, to fill out : ex-, ex- + plēre, to fill; see pel&schwa;-1 in Indo-European roots.
(comparative more expletive, superlative most expletive)
- Serving to fill up, merely for effect, otherwise redundant.
- Marked by expletives (phrase-fillers).
OriginSee also: explétive