9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[vuhl-ger] /ˈvʌl gər/
characterized by ignorance of or lack of good breeding or taste:
vulgar ostentation.
indecent; obscene; lewd:
a vulgar work; a vulgar gesture.
crude; coarse; unrefined:
a vulgar peasant.
of, relating to, or constituting the ordinary people in a society:
the vulgar masses.
current; popular; common:
a vulgar success; vulgar beliefs.
spoken by, or being in the language spoken by, the people generally; vernacular:
vulgar tongue.
lacking in distinction, aesthetic value, or charm; banal; ordinary:
a vulgar painting.
Archaic. the common people.
Obsolete. the vernacular.
Origin of vulgar
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin vulgāris, equivalent to vulg(us) the general public + -āris -ar1
Related forms
vulgarly, adverb
vulgarness, noun
unvulgar, adjective
unvulgarly, adverb
unvulgarness, noun
1. unrefined, inelegant, low, coarse, ribald. See common. 3. boorish, rude. 6. colloquial.
Usage note
Terms that are labeled Vulgar in this dictionary are considered inappropriate in many circumstances because of their association with a taboo subject. Major taboo subjects in English-speaking countries are sex and excretion and the parts of the body associated with those functions. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for vulgar
  • Words that are vulgar or offensive, or refer to unsavory topics.
  • As common today as it is, vulgar language has been around since the evolution of language.
  • But he is too creative and original a thinker to be surrendered to the vulgar stereotypes of his enemies.
  • Despite their vulgar display, their beckoning rainbow of color, they are barren.
  • Our traditional-aged students are being raised and a relatively vulgar society.
  • Many people in the chess world considered the contest vulgar.
  • Our priest said that he didn't go for the vernacular because it was vulgar.
  • But in those days it was-it had the quality of a vulgar fairy land.
  • It can be from the transformative to the mundane and vulgar.
  • What is meant to be easy and sprightly is vulgar and flippant, as in the first two pages.
British Dictionary definitions for vulgar


marked by lack of taste, culture, delicacy, manners, etc: vulgar behaviour, vulgar language
(often capital; usually prenominal) denoting a form of a language, esp of Latin, current among common people, esp at a period when the formal language is archaic and not in general spoken use
  1. of, relating to, or current among the great mass of common people, in contrast to the educated, cultured, or privileged; ordinary
  2. (as collective noun; preceded by the): the vulgar
Derived Forms
vulgarly, adverb
Word Origin
C14: from Latin vulgāris belonging to the multitude, from vulgus the common people
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for vulgar

late 14c., "common, ordinary," from Latin vulgaris "of or pertaining to the common people, common, vulgar," from vulgus "the common people, multitude, crowd, throng," from PIE root *wel- "to crowd, throng" (cf. Sanskrit vargah "division, group," Greek eilein "to press, throng," Middle Breton gwal'ch "abundance," Welsh gwala "sufficiency, enough"). Meaning "coarse, low, ill-bred" is first recorded 1640s, probably from earlier use (with reference to people) with meaning "belonging to the ordinary class" (1530).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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