Definition of grawlix in English:


nounplural noun grawlixes

  • A string of typographical symbols (such as %@$&*!) used in place of an obscenity, especially in comic strips.

    ‘the slur was replaced with a grawlix’
    • ‘The interview contains questionable content and some profanity, which we've altered as grawlix.’
    • ‘Asterisks, grawlixes, or family-safe words wouldn't have worked.’
    • ‘If he were alive today, he 'd be writing whole books in grawlixes’
    • ‘Falling back on grawlixes, the column cites a study that found that "profanity was associated with less lying and deception at the individual level".’
    • ‘It's amusing to read this in a publication where the writer must resort to cartoon grawlixes to make his argument.’
    • ‘Each story must contain (sans grawlix) the phrase "What the #@&% is that?".’
    • ‘I would much rather say my favorite curse word than resort to using a grawlix.’
    • ‘Grawlixes are highly inappropriate for any professional writing.’
    • ‘If grawlixes were the rule, though, readers wouldn't have to work out the difference between, for example, b**** and b*******, and could use their own imagination.’
    • ‘If the cartoonist had used swearwords instead of a grawlix, his cartoon wouldn't have been syndicated in hundreds of newspapers.’



/ˈɡrôˌliks/ /ˈɡrɔˌlɪks/


1960s coined by Mort Walker (1923–2018), US creator of the comic strip Beetle Bailey, apparently as a nonsense word.