Euphemism meaning

yo͝ofə-mĭzəm
Frequency:
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."

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The use of a word or phrase that is less expressive or direct but considered less distasteful, less offensive, etc. than another.
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A word or phrase so substituted (Ex.: remains for corpse)
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(countable) A word or phrase that is used to replace another in this way.
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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.
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A mild, indirect, or vague term for one that is considered harsh, blunt, or offensive.
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The use of such terms.
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(uncountable) The use of a word or phrase to replace another with one that is considered less offensive, blunt or vulgar than the word or phrase it replaces.
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Origin of euphemism

  • Greek euphēmismos from euphēmizein to use auspicious words from euphēmiā use of auspicious words eu- eu- phēmē speech bhā-2 in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • 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”).

    From Wiktionary