Definitions of expletive

  1. A word, letter, or syllable not necessary to the sense, but inserted to fill a vacancy; an oath.
  2. A word not necessary for the sense, inserted in a sentence for ornament or to fill up a verse; hence, an oath.
  3. A word or syllable inserted to fill a vacancy. " What are called expletives in rhetorical treatises are grammatically allied to the interjections, though widely differenced from them by the want of meaning, which the interjection is never without. I can hardly agree with Webster in his definition of the expletive, and still less in the statement with which he concludes it. 'The expletive, ' says Webster, 'is a word or syllable not necessary to the sense, but inserted to fill a vacancy or for ornament; the Greek language abounds with expletives. ' So far as the word answers no other purpose than 'to fill a vacancy, ' it is properly expletive: but if it be appropriate and graceful enough to deserve the name of an 'ornament, ' it is not superfluous, and therefore is not an expletive."- G. P. Marsh.
  4. Word used for ornament, or to fill a space.
  5. A word or phrase serving merely to fill out.
  6. A word or syllable added merely for ornament or to fill up.
  7. A word or syllable inserted for ornament; something only used to take up room; colloquially, a coarse or profane word.
  8. Filling up; hence, added merely for the purpose of filling up; superfluous.
  9. Filling up: added to fill a vacancy: superfiuous. " There is little temptation to load with expletive epithets."- Johnson.
  10. Filling up; added merely to fill up.
  11. Filling up or out; added for supply or ornament; not necessary to the sense.