Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Sexually explicit pictures, writing, or other material whose primary purpose is to cause sexual arousal.
  • n. The presentation or production of this material.
  • n. Lurid or sensational material: "Recent novels about the Holocaust have kept Hitler well offstage [so as] to avoid the ... pornography of the era” ( Morris Dickstein).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The graphic, detailed, often gratuitous depiction of something.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Licentious painting or literature; especially, the painting anciently employed to decorate the walls of rooms devoted to bacchanalian orgies.
  • n. A treatise on prostitutes, or prostitution.
  • n. obscene pictures, writings, drawings, motion pictures, videos, or the like intended primarily to cause sexual arousal and having little or no artistic merit; also, the content of such materials.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A description of or treatise on prostitutes or prostitution; hence, obscene writing.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. creative activity (writing or pictures or films etc.) of no literary or artistic value other than to stimulate sexual desire

Etymologies

French pornographie, from pornographe, pornographer, from Late Greek pornographos, writing about prostitutes : pornē, prostitute; + graphein, to write; see -graphy.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Ancient Greek πορνογράφος (pornographos), from πόρνη (pornē, "prostitute") + γράφω (graphō, "I write"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Sexual gratification in pornography is not a function of emotional attachment, of kindness, of caring, and especially not of continuance of the relationship, as such continuance would translate into responsibilities, curtailments, and costs.

    Calling Bullshit on the War On Porn « Skid Roche

  • We are supposed to believe that the coming together of the family in pornography is a major step forward.

    Archive 2007-03-01

  • Many feminists are equally critical of the soft-core porn movies available at local video stores and on cable TV, arguing that the violence in pornography is often covert (and they include mainstream advertising images in their slide shows).

    Feminists Against the First Amendment

  • They also, unsurprisingly, inspired the word "pornography" - although not quite in the sense that we understand it today.

    Telegraph.co.uk - Telegraph online, Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph

  • "The term pornography is used on the passenger card as it is more recognisable to the travelling public than the term objectionable material," a Customs spokesman said.

    Latest News - Yahoo!7 News

  • The word pornography derives from the Greek word porn, meaning prostitution, and graphier, meaning to write, and so it means to write of prostitution.

    Conservapedia - Recent changes [en]

  • While Imus, Stern, and the rappers are what I call pornography audio style, they have not had anywhere near the affect on the political discourse in this country as the hate mongers on right wing political media.

    Sheldon Drobny: Hate Radio And The MSM

  • UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You learned at some point in time about Mr. Schaffel ` s background in what you called a pornography ...

    CNN Transcript Jun 12, 2006

  • The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology posted the new rules over the weekend, part of a three-phase plan to target what it called pornography accessible through cell phones.

    Gaea Times (by Simple Thoughts) Breaking News and incisive views 24/7

  • A new kind of pornography is circulating the internet, finding a way around the mainstream censors, and into the living rooms of those with the stomach to watch video and image of soldiers decapitated, shot, burned or otherwise taken in their last moments on Earth.

    2008 January 06 « Unambiguously Ambidextrous

Comments

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  • "In modern times the term 'pornography' connotes mediocrity, commercialism, and certain strict rules of narration. Obscenity must be mated with banality because every kind of aesthetic enjoyment has to be entirely replaced by simple sexual stimulation which demands the traditional word for direct action on the patient. … Thus, in pornographic novels, action has to be limited to the copulation of clichés. Style, structure, imagery should never distract the reader from his tepid lust."

    — Vladimir Nabokov, "On a Book Entitled Lolita"

    February 5, 2012

  • An example from history (not really) here.

    October 7, 2008

  • Now that is funny. Maybe having those ads up there is actually an asset, entertainment-wise.

    October 17, 2007

  • Word games. People looking at pornography just love those word games. Says gooble.

    October 17, 2007

  • Har! Wish I'd said that, U.

    October 17, 2007

  • "Google's giant computer brain has decided that someone looking at 'pornography' might also enjoy..."

    October 17, 2007

  • That's because we strive to maintain an air of dignity and sophistication on this board. *cough*

    October 17, 2007

  • I'm surprised Wordie hasn't had anything to say about this, yet.

    October 17, 2007