Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English


English definition of “obscene”


adjective     /əbˈsiːn/
C2 offensive , rude , or shocking , usually because of being too obviously related to sex or showing sex : In the raid , police found several boxes of obscene DVDs . He was jailed for making obscene phone calls (= ones in which unwanted sexual suggestions were made to the listener ). obscene language / graffiti Relating to sex and sexual desireRude and cheeky C2 morally wrong , often describing something that is wrong because it is too large : to make obscene profits The salaries some company directors earn are obscene.Morally wrong and evilDishonest obscenely     /-li/ adverb He's obscenely rich / fat / cruel .Morally wrong and evilDishonestRelating to sex and sexual desireRude and cheeky
(Definition of obscene adjective from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of obscene

Definitions of “obscene” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day


a good knowledge of something, or the fact that you know it so well

Word of the Day


Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More