expletive
I. noun Date: 1612 1. a. a syllable, word, or phrase inserted to fill a vacancy (as in a sentence or a metrical line) without adding to the sense; especially a word (as it in “make it clear which you prefer”) that occupies the position of the subject or object of a verb in normal English word order and anticipates a subsequent word or phrase that supplies the needed meaningful content b. an exclamatory word or phrase; especially one that is obscene or profane 2. one that serves to fill out or as a filling II. adjective Etymology: Late Latin expletivus, from Latin expletus, past participle of explēre to fill out, from ex- + plēre to fill — more at full Date: 1666 1. serving to fill up <
expletive phrases
>
2. marked by the use of expletives

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Expletive — Ex ple*tive, a. [L. expletivus, from expletus, p. p. of explere to fill up; ex out+plere to fill, akin to plenus full: cf. F. expl[ e]tif. See {Full}.] Filling up; hence, added merely for the purpose of filling up; superfluous. Expletive imagery …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • expletive — is an adjective and a noun: both are pronounced ik splee tiv, with the stress on the second syllable. The primary meaning is ‘filling out a sentence, line of verse, etc.’, and the noun denotes a word that does this, typically in verse, without… …   Modern English usage

  • expletive — [eks′plətôr΄ēeks′plə tiv] n. [LL expletivus, serving to fill < L expletus, pp. of explere, to fill < ex , out, up + plere, to fill: see FULL1] 1. an oath or exclamation, esp. an obscenity 2. a word, phrase, etc. not needed for the sense but …   English World dictionary

  • Expletive — Ex ple*tive, n. A word, letter, or syllable not necessary to the sense, but inserted to fill a vacancy; an oath. [1913 Webster] While explectives their feeble aid to join, And ten low words oft creep in one dull line. Pope. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • expletive — I noun addition, anathema, bad language, blaspheming, curse, denunciation, ecphonesis, embellishment, execration, foul invective, foul language, imprecation, injection, insertion, interjection, interpolation, irreverence, malediction, outcry,… …   Law dictionary

  • expletive — [n] swear word; exclamation curse, cuss, cuss word, interjection, oath; concept 275 …   New thesaurus

  • expletive — ► NOUN ▪ an oath or swear word. ORIGIN originally denoting a word used to fill out a sentence: from Latin expletivus, from explere fill out …   English terms dictionary

  • Expletive — The word expletive is currently used in three senses: syntactic expletives, expletive attributives, and bad language .The word expletive comes from the Latin verb explere , meaning to fill , via expletivus , filling out . It was introduced into… …   Wikipedia

  • expletive — {{11}}expletive (adj.) mid 15c., from L. expletivus (see EXPLETIVE (Cf. expletive) (n.)). {{12}}expletive (n.) 1610s, originally a word or phrase serving to fill out a sentence or metrical line, from M.Fr. explétif (15c.) and directly from L.L.… …   Etymology dictionary

  • expletive — [17] Originally, an expletive word was simply one used to ‘fill up’ a line of verse, to complete its metrical pattern (expletive comes from Latin explētus, the past participle of explēre ‘fill out’, a compound formed from the prefix ex ‘out’ and… …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

  • expletive — [17] Originally, an expletive word was simply one used to ‘fill up’ a line of verse, to complete its metrical pattern (expletive comes from Latin explētus, the past participle of explēre ‘fill out’, a compound formed from the prefix ex ‘out’ and… …   Word origins

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