expletive

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See also: explétive

English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

From Late Latin explētīvus (serving to fill out), from Latin explētus, the perfect passive participle of expleō (fill out), itself from ex (out, completely) + *pleō (fill).

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

expletive (comparative more expletive, superlative most expletive)

  1. Serving to fill up, merely for effect, otherwise redundant.
    • 1839, Henry Hallam, Introduction to the Literature of Europe, volume 3, London: John Murray, OCLC 834184226, page 501:
      No one entered more fully than Shakespeare into the character of this species of poetry, which admits of no expletive imagery, no merely ornamental line.
    • 1683, Isaac Barrow, The Works of the Learned Isaac Barrow, London: M. Flesher for B. Aylmer, OCLC 184765987, Against vain and raſh Swearing:
      deprecating being taken for ſerious, or to be underſtood that he meaneth any thing by them; but only that he uſeth them as expletive phraſes ... to plump his ſpeech, and fill up ſentences.
  2. Marked by expletives (phrase-fillers).

Synonyms[edit]

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


Examples (syntactic filler)

It is snowing.

Examples (strengthener)

I'll give you a bloody good hiding

Noun[edit]

expletive (plural expletives)

  1. A profane, vulgar term, notably a curse or obscene oath.
  2. (linguistics) A word without meaning added to fill a syntactic position.
  3. (linguistics) A word that adds to the strength of a phrase without affecting its meaning; an intensifier.

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

References[edit]