a. Characterized by an inordinate interest in sex: prurient thoughts.
b. Arousing or appealing to an inordinate interest in sex: prurient literature.
2. Inordinately interested in matters of sex; lascivious.
[Latin prūriēns, prūrient-, present participle of prūrīre, to yearn for, itch; see preus- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
pruri·ence, pruri·en·cy n.
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.