prurient

Something is prurient if it focuses attention on sex not in an artistic way or to teach something, but purely to appeal to your baser instincts. If something is prurient, it's sure to offend somebody.

An MTV series that includes explicit scenes might be considered prurient and have censors screaming to have it taken off the air. The word prurient comes from a Latin root that means literally, "to itch,” and you may have heard the medical term pruritus, which means "severe itching." The word can also be used to describe any kind of perverse interest, like onlookers who have a prurient curiosity about the details of a particularly gory crime scene.

Definitions of prurient
1

adj characterized by lust

prurient literature”
prurient thoughts”
Synonyms:
lubricious, lustful, salacious
sexy
marked by or tending to arouse sexual desire or interest

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.