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[ek-spli-tiv] /ˈɛk splɪ tɪv/

an interjectory word or expression, frequently profane; an exclamatory oath.
a syllable, word, or phrase serving to fill out.
Grammar. a word considered as regularly filling the syntactic position of another, as it in It is his duty to go, or there in There is nothing here.
Also, expletory
[ek-spli-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /ˈɛk splɪˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/ (Show IPA). added merely to fill out a sentence or line, give emphasis, etc.:
Expletive remarks padded the speech.
an exclamation or swearword; an oath or a sound expressing an emotional reaction rather than any particular meaning
any syllable, word, or phrase conveying no independent meaning, esp one inserted in a line of verse for the sake of the metre
expressing no particular meaning, esp when filling out a line of verse

1610s, originally “a word or phrase serving to fill out a sentence or metrical line,” from Middle French explétif (15c.) and directly from Late Latin expletivus “serving to fill out,” from explet-, past participle stem of Latin explere “fill out,” from ex- “out” (see ex-) + plere “to fill” (see pleio-).

Sense of “exclamation,” often in the form of a cuss word, first recorded 1815 in Sir Walter Scott, popularized by edited transcripts of Watergate tapes (mid-1970s), in which expletive deleted replaced President Nixon’s salty expressions. As an adjective, from 1660s.

mid-15c., from Latin expletivus (see expletive (n.)).
expletive [(ek-spluh-tiv)]

Any exclamation or oath, especially one that is obscene or profane, as in “Dammit, I forgot to buy the milk.”

Note: The Oval Office tapes of President Richard Nixon, released during the investigation of the Watergate scandal, made famous the phrase “expletive deleted,” which appeared frequently in expurgated transcripts of the tapes.


Read Also:

  • Explicable

    [ek-spli-kuh-buh l, ik-splik-uh-buh l] /ˈɛk splɪ kə bəl, ɪkˈsplɪk ə bəl/ adjective 1. capable of being explained. /ˈɛksplɪkəbəl; ɪkˈsplɪk-/ adjective 1. capable of being explained adj. 1550s, from or on model of Latin explicabilis “capable of being unraveled, that may be explained,” from explicare (see explicit). Middle English had a verb expliken “explain, interpret” (mid-15c.).

  • Explicandum

    [ek-spli-kan-duh m] /ˌɛk splɪˈkæn dəm/ noun, plural explicanda [ek-spli-kan-duh] /ˌɛk splɪˈkæn də/ (Show IPA) 1. a term or statement that is to be explained, as in a philosophical discussion.

  • Explicans

    [ek-spli-kanz] /ˈɛk splɪˌkænz/ noun, plural explicantia [ek-spli-kan-shee-uh] /ˌɛk splɪˈkæn ʃi ə/ (Show IPA) 1. the meaning of a term or statement, as in a philosophical discussion.

  • Explicate

    [ek-spli-keyt] /ˈɛk splɪˌkeɪt/ verb (used with object), explicated, explicating. 1. to make plain or clear; explain; interpret. 2. to develop (a principle, theory, etc.). /ˈɛksplɪˌkeɪt/ verb (transitive) (formal) 1. to make clear or explicit; explain 2. to formulate or develop (a theory, hypothesis, etc) v. 1530s, from Latin explicatus, past participle of explicare “unfold, unravel, […]

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