Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Uneasy with desire; itching; especially, having a lascivious anxiety or propensity; lustful.
  • adj. Arousing or appealing to sexual desire.
  • adj. Curious, especially inappropriately so.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Uneasy with desire; itching; especially, having a lascivious curiosity or propensity; lustful.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Itching; having an eager desire or longing for something.
  • Inclined to lascivious thought; of an unclean habit of mind; sensual.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. characterized by lust

Etymologies

Latin prūriēns, prūrient-, present participle of prūrīre, to yearn for, itch; see preus- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin prūriēns, present participle of prūriō ("itch") (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • I have watched you and your crew, how you preach up selfish ambition for divine charity and call prurient longings celestial love, while you blaspheme that very marriage from whose mysteries you borrow all your cant.

    The Saint's Tragedy

  • One would think that it could not get any worse, but Barack Hussein Obama has determined that the nation is not filthy enough to satiate his desire that the nation be of Mephistophelean structure, which is to say prurient, nasty and vile.

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  • Odd Iain that I have not heard the word "prurient" in many months yet both you and David Cameron use it on the same day about the same subject.

    How Not to Chase Ratings

  • Here's my answer, and please don't be offended if I read some kind of prurient interest into your query.

    um...

  • There is nothing "prurient" about his enthusiastic interest; far from it, Di Filippo deals with such activities with warm good humor, engaging prose, and, when the story dictates, with love.

    Asimov's Science Fiction

  • Berlusconi's amoral business practices can never translate into financial success on a national scale, and his sexual ethics will only promote the kind of prurient, hypocritical society that Murdoch would appreciate.

    The Independent - Frontpage RSS Feed

  • (An interesting aside for those who enjoy etymology: the word "prurient" is derived from the same root as pruritus - it just refers to a different sort of "itch.")

    The Martha's Vineyard Times News Headlines

  • First of all, Tennessee is remarkably lacking in any kind of prurient accommodations along its interstate, and secondly, on the first trip, we stopped and ate at places that served cold beer and roasted goat, and on the second trip we stopped to eat at places that didn't serve black people.

    Looky, Daddy!

  • Michael Malone, director of photography at the San Jose Mercury News, said the call was an easy one and that his paper would never print such a "prurient" photo, which he said was "not something people need to see."

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  • Calling the ACLU push to release the photographs "prurient" and "reprehensible," Dr. Mark M. Lowenthal, former Assistant Director of Central Intelligence for Analysis and Production, tells ABC News that the Obama administration should have taken the case all the way to the Supreme Court.

    Political Punch

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Comments

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  • "I didn't believe for a minute Bill was only concerned with my safety, but I didn't want to believe jealousy brought him to my window, or some kind of prurient curiosity."-Dead as a Doornail, by Charlaine Harris

    May 19, 2011

  • TV is not vulgar and prurient and dumb because the people who compose the audience are vulgar and dumb. Television is the way it is simply because people tend to be extremely similar in their vulgar and prurient and dumb interests and wildly different in their refined and aesthetic and noble interests.

    (David Foster Wallace)

    June 26, 2008

  • That's a bizarre title.

    October 30, 2007

  • it's from a poem entitled 'bubble baths and crystal meth'

    October 29, 2007

  • That's a bizarre quote.

    October 27, 2007

  • "...at times the shock presents as an imploding clock -
    a Dali-esque reminder that if we invented Time (and
    hoo! we did) we could invent alternatives far more sublime -
    and truer to the prurient experience of ogling Eternity:
    close enough for us to sense its meat."

    October 27, 2007