obscene
ob·scene /äb-'sēn/ adj [Middle French, from Latin obscenus obscaenus indecent, lewd]: extremely or deeply offensive according to contemporary community standards of morality or decency see also roth v. united states in the important cases section
◇ The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that obscene applies to materials that appeal predominantly to a prurient interest in sexual conduct, depict or describe sexual conduct in a patently offensive way, and lack serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value. Material or expression deemed obscene by the court is not protected by the free speech guarantee of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law. . 1996.

obscene
I adjective bawdy, broad, debauched, foul, immodest, immoral, impure, indecent, indelicate, inquinatus, lascivious, lecherous, lewd, libidinous, licentious, lubricous, lurid, lustful, obscenus, offensive, offensive to decency, offensive to modesty, patently offensive, pornographic, profane, profligate, ribald, risque, salacious, scabrous, sensual, sexy, shameful, shameless, spicy, tending to excite lustful desires, turpis, unchaste, unwholesome, vile, vulgar, wanton II index depraved, lascivious, lewd, licentious, objectionable, prurient, repulsive, salacious, scurrilous, suggestive (risqué)

Burton's Legal Thesaurus. . 2006


obscene
adj.
Morally offensive; against accepted standards of decency, especially in a sexual way; appealing to sexual interests and without serious political, literary, scientific, or artistic value.
n.
obscenity

The Essential Law Dictionary. — Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. . 2008.


obscene
A description of material that the average person, applying contemporary standards in their community, would find appeals to the prurient interest in sex, with no legitimate artistic, literary, or scientific purpose or value. Pictures, writings, films, or public acts that are obscene under this standard (from the U.S. Supreme Court) are not entitled to First Amendment protection as free speech, and may be regulated or even criminalized.
Category: Small Claims Court & Lawsuits

Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary. . 2009.


obscene
adj. Exceptionally repugnant to the contemporary standards of decency and morality within the community; grossly obnoxious to the notions of acceptable behavior.

Webster's New World Law Dictionary. . 2000.


obscene
Offensive to recognized standards of decency.

Dictionary from West's Encyclopedia of American Law. 2005.


obscene
Offensive to recognized standards of decency.

Short Dictionary of (mostly American) Legal Terms and Abbreviations.

obscene
adj., adv.
   a highly subjective reference to material or acts which display or describe sexual activity in a manner appealing only to "prurient interest," with no legitimate artistic, literary or scientific purpose. Pictures, writings, film or public acts which are found to be obscene are not protected by the free speech guarantee of the First Amendment. However, the courts have had difficulty making a clear non-subjective definition since "one person's obscenity is another person's art," or, as one Supreme Court Justice stated, "I can't define it, but I know it when I see it."
   See also: pornography

Law dictionary. . 2013.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • obscène — [ ɔpsɛn ] adj. • 1534; lat. obscenus « de mauvais augure » ♦ Qui blesse la délicatesse par des représentations ou des manifestations grossières de la sexualité. « Les livres les plus monstrueusement obscènes » (Hugo). ⇒ licencieux, pornographique …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Obscene — Ob*scene , a. [L. obscenus, obscaenus, obscoenus, ill looking, filthy, obscene: cf. F. obsc[ e]ne.] [1913 Webster] 1. Offensive to chastity or modesty; expressing or presenting to the mind or view something which delicacy, purity, and decency… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • obscene — During a century that tried repeatedly to define the meaning and implications of obscenity in relation to literature, the performing arts, and (above all) the cinema, the word obscene gathered strength in its other main meaning, ‘highly offensive …   Modern English usage

  • obscene — OBSCENE, adj. de tout genre. Deshonneste, sale, qui blesse la pudeur. Paroles obscenes. mot obscene. ce poëte est obscene. chanson obscene. il y a quelque chose d obscene dans ce tableau. cela laisse des idées obscenes …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • obscene — (adj.) 1590s, offensive to the senses, or to taste and refinement, from M.Fr. obscene, from L. obscenus offensive, especially to modesty, originally boding ill, inauspicious, of unknown origin; perhaps from ob onto (see OB (Cf. ob )) + caenum… …   Etymology dictionary

  • obscene — ► ADJECTIVE 1) offending accepted standards of decency; offensive or disgusting. 2) morally repugnant through being excessive: obscene pay rises. DERIVATIVES obscenely adverb. ORIGIN Latin obscaenus ill omened, abominable …   English terms dictionary

  • obscene — [äb sēn′, əbsēn′] adj. [Fr obscène < L obscenus, obscaenus < obs , var. of ob (see OB ) + caenum, filth < IE * k̑weino < base * kwei , muck, filth > ON hvein, swampy land] 1. offensive to one s feelings, or to prevailing notions,… …   English World dictionary

  • obscene — gross, vulgar, ribald, *coarse Analogous words: indecent, indelicate, *indecorous: lewd, lascivious, wanton, *licentious: foul, nasty, *dirty Antonyms: decent …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • obscene — [adj] indecent, offensive, immoral atrocious, barnyard*, bawdy, blue*, coarse, crude, dirty*, disgusting, evil, filthy, foul, gross, heinous, hideous, horrible, immodest, improper, impure, lascivious, lewd, licentious, loathsome, loose*, lustful …   New thesaurus

  • obscene — [[t]ɒbsi͟ːn[/t]] 1) ADJ GRADED If you describe something as obscene, you mean it offends you because it relates to sex or violence in a way that you think is unpleasant and shocking. I m not prudish but I think these photographs are obscene... He …   English dictionary

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