Meaning of euphemize in English:


Pronunciation /ˈjuːfəmˌʌɪz/


(also British euphemise)
[with object]
  • Refer to (something unpleasant or embarrassing) by means of a euphemism.

    ‘the song uses a vocabulary of euphemized profanity and obscenity’
    • ‘the impulse to euphemize is causing the syllables to multiply’
    • ‘About the time they reached the door, Brent burst from it, screaming euphemized obscenities.’
    • ‘We are the Mr Clean society - devoted to eradicating every natural body odour and euphemizing every body function and its excretions.’
    • ‘It usually involves constructing imaginary walls around minorities and euphemizing the situation by describing it as a mosaic.’
    • ‘And I don't think anyone will be able to accuse me of euphemizing the matter.’
    • ‘I understood the true meaning of ‘laughing stock’, a mild term that euphemizes estranged friends and insensitive strangers.’
    • ‘The baffling plot (which might be euphemized as ‘labyrinthian’) tells of an anti-hero, dubbed ‘A.,’ who travels to Prague to find the office of the Central Registry, where he's been promised a position.’
    • ‘The empire is what it is, and the power realities will not be greatly different even if the name is euphemized and the personalities who direct it are changed.’
    • ‘Referring to ‘several hundred thousand’ soldiers as ‘the security business’ is an interesting way to euphemize a major commitment of U.S. troops.’
    • ‘Frustrations, particularly those created by what he perceives as unjust treatment from match officials, can induce paranoid reactions that are too riddled with foul-mouthed bitterness to be euphemised as boyish petulance.’
    • ‘Instead the newspaper euphemises, referring to ‘unrest’ and ‘violence’ and ‘events.’’
    • ‘Despite some media euphemizing the protests as the ‘middle class’ taking to the street, the reality is that this is a just topsy-turvy political stunt.’
    • ‘Likewise, Vera is vague when her patients want to know what will happen to their bodies: a miscarriage is euphemized as ‘everything coming away.’’
    • ‘This was euphemized as being a service to the press, a manifestation of an informationally advanced and enlightened world, or, the next generation in war reporting.’
    • ‘The second option is to trap them and euphemize them.’
    • ‘Firstly, the use of the terms ‘moderate physical pressure’ or ‘torture lite’ risks euphemising torture into acceptability.’
    • ‘But could this form of soft corruption - or ‘deep lobbying’, as it is euphemised - come to Britain?’
    • ‘For example, I will never buy floor coverings from any company who euphemise their product's stain proof qualities buy making a small puppy sit very still on their quality wool carpet.’
    • ‘The most intriguing part of her speech was how artfully she euphemized.’
    • ‘The region relapsed into months of police crackdowns, extreme violence and the re-emergence of the Republican movement - euphemised simply as ‘The Troubles.’’
    • ‘They come to us all, the aches and irritations of age such as backpain, arthritis, children and ads where emollient voiceovers pussyfoot around a condition they euphemise as ‘blocked wind’.’


Mid 19th century from Greek euphēmizein ‘use auspicious words’ (see euphemism).