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EtymologyEdit

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).

PronunciationEdit

AdjectiveEdit

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).

SynonymsEdit

TranslationsEdit

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

NounEdit

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 termsEdit

TranslationsEdit

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.

ReferencesEdit

  • Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary, Springfield, Massachusetts, G.&C. Merriam Co., 1967