ob·scen·i·ty (ŏb-sĕnĭ-tē, əb-)
n. pl. ob·scen·i·ties
1. The state or quality of being obscene.
2. Indecency, lewdness, or offensiveness in behavior, expression, or appearance.
3. Something, such as a word, act, or expression, that is indecent or lewd.
4. Something that is offensive or repulsive to the senses: "What had once been a gentle hill covered with lush grass turned into a brown obscenity of bare earth and smoke" (Tom Clancy).
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.