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Irreverence towards sacred things; particularly, an irreverent or blasphemous use of the name of God. Vulgar, irreverent, or coarse language.

The use of certain profane or obscene language on the radio or television is a federal offense, but in other situations, profanity might fall within the protection of the constitutional guarantee of Freedom of Speech.


noun billingsgate, blasphemy, cursing, denunciation, derisive language, desecration, disrespect, execration, foul language, foul talk, invective, malediction, obloquy, profanation, profane language, profaneness, swearing, vilification, vituperation, vulgarity
Associated concepts: censorship, obscenity
See also: imprecation
References in classic literature ?
From his lips there flowed--not prayer--but a clear and limpid stream of undiluted profanity, and it was all directed at that quietly stubborn piece of unyielding mechanism.
By dint of threats, reproaches and profanity the Belgian officer succeeded in persuading his trembling command to fire a volley after the retreating apes.
Other tribesmen the devil-devil doctors tabooed against eating shark, or handling turtle, or contacting with crocodiles or the fossil remains of crocodiles, or from ever being smirched by the profanity of a woman's touch or of a woman's shadow cast across the path.
But on the seventh day these same men will hear one of their ministers seriously tell them that he views taking a walk on the Sabbath in the light of an act of profanity, and will be the only people in existence who can let a man talk downright nonsense without laughing at him.
But for the profanity of the woman's language, and the really lamentable credulity of the poor old lady, the whole thing would make a fit subject for a burlesque.
Then old Tarwater's heart uprose again as the air was rent by a cyclone of profanity, from the midst of which crackled sentences like: --"Dirty skunks
Endowed by nature with great moral sensitiveness, he was nevertheless a person of violent impulses and had early fallen into profanity and laxity of conduct, which he later described with great exaggeration as a condition of abandoned wickedness.
My townsmen have all heard the tradition -- the oldest people tell me that they heard it in their youth -- that anciently the Indians were holding a pow-wow upon a hill here, which rose as high into the heavens as the pond now sinks deep into the earth, and they used much profanity, as the story goes, though this vice is one of which the Indians were never guilty, and while they were thus engaged the hill shook and suddenly sank, and only one old squaw, named Walden, escaped, and from her the pond was named.
The clatter of hoofs strangled but could not drown the sound of his profanity.
To reveal the contents of my precious bag to such a person as this would have been simply to invite an outburst of profanity.
Mrs Varden looked at the ceiling, as in expectation that the consequence of this profanity would be the immediate descent of the four-post bedstead on the second floor, together with the best sitting-room on the first; but no visible judgment occurring, she heaved a deep sigh, and begged her husband, in a tone of resignation, to go on, and by all means to blaspheme as much as possible, because he knew she liked it.
April 3, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Among the more notable partnerships this NAB is between Wheatstone and Eventide, two of the more respected names in the industry that combined the standard in profanity delay with the popular WheatNet-IP audio network in use by major radio operations.