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Popularized in the U.S. after the Watergate scandal, during which transcripts of conversations were published with profanity replaced by “[EXPLETIVE DELETED]”.


expletive deleted (plural expletives deleted)

  1. (euphemistic, humorous) an all-purpose profanity
    • 2013, J. David Markham and Mike Resnick, History Revisited: The Great Battles, Eminent Historians Take on the Great Works of Alternative History. BenBella Books, →ISBN, p. 41:
      Because you sold him out just to have a martyr, you expletive deleted.


expletive deleted (not comparable)

  1. (euphemistic, humorous) an all-purpose profanity
    • 2003, Toby Miller, “What It Is and What It Isn’t: Cultural Studies Meets Graduate Student Labor”. In Austin Sarat and Jonathan Simon (eds.), Cultural Analysis, Cultural Studies, and the Law: Moving Beyond Legal Realism. Duke University Press, →ISBN, p. 90:
      You are paid a lot of money; kindly do some expletive-deleted work.


expletive deleted

  1. (rare, euphemistic, humorous) To fuck, have sex with.
    • 1993, Steve Allen, Make ’em laugh, Prometheus Books, p. 293:
      I’d like to expletive deleted you.
      Oh, expletive, that’s what I’d like to do.