Euphemism

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Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Euphemism'

Euphemism Meaning and Definition from WordNet (r) 2.0
    euphemism n : an inoffensive expression that is substituted for one that is considered offensive [ant: dysphemism]
Euphemism Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
    Euphemism \Eu"phe*mism\, n. [Gr. ? fr. ? to use word of a good omen; ? well + ? to speak: cf. F. euph['e]misme. See Fame.] (Rhet.) 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.
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Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Euphemism'


A euphemism is a substitution of an expression that may offend or suggest something unpleasant to the receiver with an agreeable or less offensive expression, or to make it less troublesome for the speaker, as in the case of doublespeak. The deployment of euphemisms is a central aspect within the public application of political correctness.

It may also substitute a description of something or someone to avoid revealing secret, holy, or sacred names to the uninitiated, or to obscure the identity of the subject of a conversation from potential eavesdroppers. Some euphemisms are intended to amuse.

When a phrase is used as a euphemism, it often becomes a metaphor whose literal meaning is dropped. Euphemisms may be used to hide unpleasant or disturbing ideas, even when the literal term for them is not necessarily offensive. This type of euphemism is used in public relations and politics, where it is sometimes called doublespeak. Sometimes, using euphemisms is equated to politeness. There are also superstitious euphemisms, based (consciously or subconsciously) on the idea that words have the power to bring bad fortune (for example, not speaking the word "autism"; see etymology and common examples below), and there are religious euphemisms, based on the idea that some words are holy, or that some words are spiritually imperiling (taboo; see etymology).

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Euphemism Sample Sentences in News


  • From Facebook to Twitter: why advertisers love euphemism
    When is an ad not an ad? Social media can use 'special offer', 'sponsor' and 'promoted tweet' all they like, but we all know they're trying to make money When is an ad not an ad? When it's a "suggested" post, or a "promoted" tweet, or a "special offer" beamed to your e-reader. Today's giant tech co Read more on this news related to 'Euphemism'
  • Senate report: Interrogation methods 'far worse' than CIA acknowledged
    “Enhanced interrogation” – the euphemism for the partial drowning known as water-boarding, sleep deprivation for days at a time, stress positions, and other harsh techniques that many people consider to be torture – undoubtedly will be a signature phrase in histories written about the US-led invasion of Iraq and the ten years of war and occupation that fol Read more on this news related to 'Euphemism'
  • Yeezus Wept: LA Street Mural Shows Kanye West As Christ Crucified, Just In Time For Easter
    Is hip-hop just a euphemism for a new religion? Is Kanye West the Jesus of that religion? Who knows, but an LA street artist has grabbed attention just in time for Easter with a depiction of Kanye as Jesus on the cross. Now we can all see Kanye as he sees himself. The piece showed Read more on this news related to 'Euphemism'

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