Euphemism

eu·phe·mism

noun \ˈyü-fə-ˌmi-zəm\

Definition of EUPHEMISM

: the substitution of an agreeable or inoffensive expression for one that may offend or suggest something unpleasant;also : the expression so substituted
— eu·phe·mist  noun
— eu·phe·mis·tic  adjective
— eu·phe·mis·ti·cal·ly  adverb

Examples of EUPHEMISM

  1. using “eliminate” as a euphemism for “kill”
  2. Cougar is the euphemism for a woman who has reached mid-life, who is single, financially secure and on the lookout for relationships with younger men—as in “prey.” —Kerry Gold, Vancouver Sun, 17 Feb. 2001
  3. [+]more

Origin of EUPHEMISM

Greek euphēmismos, from euphēmos auspicious, sounding good, from eu- + phēmē speech, from phanai to speak — more at ban

First Known Use: circa 1681

Other Literature Terms

Reproduced with thanks to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.
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