four-letter word


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.

four-letter word

1. One of a handful of words with four letters that are considered profanity. Jimmy was suspended from school after the teacher heard him shout a number of four-letter words at his classmates. The move received its rating solely due to its high amount of four-letter words.
2. By extension, a word that has a positive or neutral connotation but that is treated as if it were highly negative. Such words do not have to literally contain four letters. Young people today seem to think "school" is a four-letter word. All they want to do is sit around and play video games all day. To most voters, "taxes" is a four-letter word.
See also: word

four-letter word

Any of several short English words that are generally regarded as vulgar or obscene. For example, No four-letter words are permitted in this classroom. This expression is applied mostly to words describing excretory or sexual functions. [First half of 1900s]
See also: word

a ˌfour-letter ˈword

a short word that is considered rude or offensive, especially because it refers to sex or other functions of the body: Four-letter words used to be banned on radio and television.
See also: word

four-letter word

Any of several short words that are considered vulgar or obscene. Dating from the first half of the 1900s, the expression applies mostly to words describing sexual or excretory functions.
See also: word
References in periodicals archive ?
He said the four-letter word used to tell him to leave influenced the tribunal in agreeing on a wrongful dismissal.
He said he tipped the parts onto the floor and after an argument with the woman his boss walked in and following another clash, a four-letter word was allegedly used in telling him to leave.
One of the nastiest four-letter words has been angering parents like me in Nuneaton this week.
He stunned his fellow commentator David Lloyd when he used the four-letter word in the Sky commentary box at the Edgbaston Ashes Test, reports the Daily Star.
Which four-letter word, beginning with "E" is the title of an English nobleman who ranks above a viscount?
Which four-letter word, beginning with "B", is the currency of Thailand?
ROCK star Bono shocked a gray-haired crowd of 1,000 chief executive officers and other business leaders at the World Economic Forum by using a four-letter word.
Which four-letter word, beginning with "I", refers to a member of the Quechua people of highland Peru, who established an empire until the Spanish conquest?
Which four-letter word, beginning with "C", is a clamp fastened across the strings of a fretted musical instrument to raise their tuning?
Which four-letter word, beginning with "H", is a name for a stag?
Which four-letter word, beginning with "B", is the point that stands backward on an arrow or fish-hook to prevent it from being easily extracted?
Which four-letter word beginning with "F" is a type of Greek flaky pastry in very thin sheets?
But she was stunned to find a four-letter word repeated in the book several times.
Which four-letter word, beginning with "D", is a low, heavy cart without sides, used for haulage?
Which four-letter word, beginning with "F", is an ancient Roman deity represented as a man with goats' ears, horns, tail and hind legs?