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Offensive to recognized standards of decency.

The term obscene is applied to written, verbal, or visual works or conduct that treat sex in an objectionable or lewd or lascivious manner. Although the First Amendment guarantees freedom of expression, such constitutional protection is not extended to obscene works. To determine whether a work is obscene, the trier of fact applies the three-pronged guidelines established by the U.S. Supreme Court in miller v. california, 413 U.S. 15, 93 S. Ct. 2607, 37 L. Ed. 2d 419 (1973):

(a) whether the "average person, applying contemporary community standards" would find that the work depicting or describing sexual conduct when taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest…, (b) whether the work depicts or describes, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct specifically defined by the applicable state law; and (c) whether the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.


Freedom of Speech; Pornography.


adj., adv. a highly subjective reference to material or acts which display or describe sexual activity in an obviously disgusting manner, appealing only to "prurient interest," with no legitimate artistic, literary or scientific purpose. Pictures, writings, film or public acts which are found to be obscene are not protected by the free speech guarantee of the First Amendment. However, "one person's obscenity is another person's art," or "I can't define it, but I know it when I see it." (See: pornography)


adjective bawdy, broad, debauched, foul, immodest, immoral, impure, indecent, indelicate, inquinatus, lascivious, lecherous, lewd, libidinous, licentious, lubricous, lurid, lustful, obscenus, offensive, offensive to decency, offensive to modesty, patently offensive, pornographic, profligate, ribald, risque, salacious, scabrous, sensual, sexy, shameful, shameless, spicy, tending to excite lustful desires, turpis, unchaste, unwholesome, vile, vulgar, wanton
See also: depraved, lascivious, lewd, licentious, objectionable, prurient, repulsive, salacious, scurrilous, suggestive


References in periodicals archive ?
THE not-for-profit Motability scheme, backed by taxpayers, proved obscenely profitable for fatcat Mike Betts with his PS846,000 package of pay and perks.
This episode, along with the scandal which is engulfing the NHS Care Quality Commision, shows, yet again, that our public services, at both national and local levels, are an absolute, and obscenely expensive, disgrace.
She unleashed the crazed policy of transferring wealth from the working class and the neediest in society to her already obscenely rich friends,.
Lane, 18, wore a T-shirt with "killer" scrawled across it and smirked and gestured obscenely when he appeared in court in Ohio.
Prof Davidson said: "The price of this drug is obscenely low.
Sadly, the latest census will not only be the last, it will also be obscenely invasive.
Mr Ruane said: "Unfortunately the timetable for consultation was obscenely short and this was raised with the minister by many MPs of different parties.
There are those who will argue that banning the obese from adopting is unfair because there is nothing to prevent the obscenely overweight having children naturally.
OBSCENELY wealthy Clay Beresford (Hayden Christensen) lives in the shadow of his domineering mother Lilith (Lena Olin), who is far from pleased that her golden boy is romantically entangled with lowly assistant Samantha (Jessica Alba).
Before you know it, you'll find yourself on one of the outside courts at Wimbledon, bellowing obscenely in Croatian and threatening to slice the ears off little Svetlana or Jelena's much-loved pet bunny rabbit if she "doesn't ***ing well hold serve in this game
But genuinely - even obscenely - wealthy people, such as professional footballers, City fat cats and many in the media also pay only this same rate of income tax.
I've had all of one manicure, and that was for my wedding -- and nearly by force -- since the maid of honor and my mom had an inkling that everyone just might be looking at the ring, and, to their great horror, my obscenely naked nail plates.