Also found in: Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


a. Characterized by an inordinate interest in sex: prurient thoughts.
b. Arousing or appealing to an inordinate interest in sex: prurient literature.
2. Inordinately interested in matters of sex; lascivious.

[Latin prūriēns, prūrient-, present participle of prūrīre, to yearn for, itch; see preus- in Indo-European roots.]

pru′ri·ence, pru′ri·en·cy n.
pru′ri·ent·ly adv.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

prurience, pruriency

an inclination toward lewdness or lustfulness; lustful behavior. — prurient, adj.
See also: Sex
-Ologies & -Isms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.



pin-up A photograph or poster of a provocatively posed, scantily attired woman, usually one of the latest sex symbols among female movie stars. The term was most popular during World War II when soldiers commonly pinned such photographs up on the barrack walls. An equivalent American slang term is cheesecake, which combines the conventional association of food and sex with the photographer’s cliché “say cheese,” used to make subjects smile. The male counterpart of cheesecake is beefcake, an American slang term for sexually provocative photographs of partially-clad men. Centerfold, the current term for such photographs, comes from the two-page spreads featuring nude or semi-nude models, popular in magazines such as Playboy and Play-girl

skin flick A movie that emphasizes nudity; a pornographic film. This expression, obviously derived from the blatant and frequent nakedness of cast members, describes erotic motion pictures which luridly depict sexual activity.

Picturesque Expressions: A Thematic Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1980 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.prurience - feeling morbid sexual desire or a propensity to lewdness
amativeness, sexiness, amorousness, erotism - the arousal of feelings of sexual desire
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


[ˈprʊərɪəns] Nsalacidad f, lascivia f
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


nAnzüglichkeit f; (of person)Lüsternheit f
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[ˈprʊərɪəns] n (unhealthy interest) → curiosità morbosa, lascivia
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995
References in classic literature ?
There is no folly so besotted that the idiotic rivalries of society, the prurience, the rashness, the blindness of youth, will not hurry a man to its commission.
When the family's nasty little secret is revealed it is done with telling power but no sensationalist prurience. This is a film about love, lust and the warmth that binds families together.
In my own case the bugging of private telephones and the printing of detailed transcripts for no better reason than prurience is hard to justify outside of Ceausescu's Romania.
Naturally, anyone brandishing a book contract must deliver a yarn spun with inspiration or prurience. Of course, Jay Bakker's story promises both.
This probably saved him from the courts, but has not entirely saved the book from an air of prurience.
With First Person, a series of 11 short documentaries, Errol Morris brings his contemplative prurience to television.
What began as a printed diatribe against the influence of show business, profanity, prurience and inanity in news occasionally paused for a history lesson, one particularly long one on freedom of the press in European and American civilization.
The only thing the Sophie picture satisfies is public prurience.
The revival of interest in Victorian sexuality in the 1960s, represented by Steven Marcus's The Other Victorians (1966) and popular accounts such as Ronald Pearsall's The Worm in the Bud (1969), complete with 'Sin Map of London', was marked by a gleeful prurience in its unmasking of the furtive sexuality behind the strait-laced facade of middle-class propriety.
Call it prying, or prurience, but I confess my favorite literary genre is the diary.
More serious, however, is the copious use of scatological language which, first, will turn away many readers who would otherwise be interested in the topic; and second, imparts a sort of giggly schoolboy prurience to the discussion.
Conservative readers accused Zola of prurience; the novel, however, illustrates the author's belief that sexual pleasure leads only to brutality and destruction.