expletive

[ek-spli-tiv]
noun
1.
an interjectory word or expression, frequently profane; an exclamatory oath.
2.
a syllable, word, or phrase serving to fill out.
3.
Grammar. a word considered as regularly filling the syntactic position of another, as it in It is his duty to go, or there in There is nothing here.
adjective
4.
Also, expletory [ek-spli-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] . added merely to fill out a sentence or line, give emphasis, etc.: Expletive remarks padded the speech.

Origin:
1600–10; < Late Latin explētīvus serving to fill out, equivalent to Latin explēt(us) filled, filled up (past participle of explēre; see explement) + -īvus -ive

expletively, adverb
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World English Dictionary
expletive (ɪkˈspliːtɪv)
 
n
1.  an exclamation or swearword; an oath or a sound expressing an emotional reaction rather than any particular meaning
2.  any syllable, word, or phrase conveying no independent meaning, esp one inserted in a line of verse for the sake of the metre
 
adj
3.  expressing no particular meaning, esp when filling out a line of verse
 
[C17: from Late Latin explētīvus for filling out, from explēre, from plēre to fill]
 
ex'pletively
 
adv

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

expletive
1612, originally "a word or phrase serving to fill out a sentence or metrical line," from L.L. expletivus "serving to fill out," from L. explere "fill out," from ex- "out" + plere "to fill" (see plenary). Sense of "exclamation," often in the form of a cuss word, first recorded
1815 in Sir Walter Scott, popularized by edited transcripts of Watergate tapes (mid-1970s), in which expletive deleted replaced Preisdent Nixon's salty expressions.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
expletive [(ek-spluh-tiv)]

Any exclamation or oath, especially one that is obscene or profane, as in “Dammit, I forgot to buy the milk.”

Note: The Oval Office tapes of President Richard Nixon, released during the investigation of the Watergate scandal, made famous the phrase “expletive deleted,” which appeared frequently in expurgated transcripts of the tapes.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
In a final expression of contempt, she ended her speech with an expletive.
And one really cannot want to beat the expletive out of someone else.
Dynasty is a political expletive in a country wary of inherited privilege.
There is doubtless some advantage in the shortness of the lines, which there is little temptation to load with expletive epithets.
Synonyms
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