Word of the Day


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Liz Potter
Written by Liz Potter


stupid and offensive because of not being sensitive to other people’s feelings

View the full definition in the Macmillan Dictionary

Origin and usage

The adjective crass comes from the Latin ‘crassus’ meaning solid, thick or dense. It has been used in English since the 16th century but the current meaning dates from the mid 17th century.


If you describe a person or their actions as crass, you mean that they show a lack of sensitivity or awareness which leads them to offend and upset other people. The adjective originally meant thick or dense, like the Latin; it was only in the 17th century that it started to be applied to actions or behaviour, while it was not applied to people until the mid 19th century. Crass collocates with adverbs such as unbelievably, utterly and incredibly, and with nouns like commercialism, consumerism, opportunism, materialism and stupidity. It co-occurs with adjectives like vulgar, insensitive, tasteless and materialistic. The related adverb is crassly and the noun is crassness.


Both Franklin and Eleanor grew up as heirs of an East Coast aristocracy that looks unbelievably crass to us today.
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Though the Olympics was to be a celebration of sport for sports sake, it has degenerated into an all out show of jingoism and crass commercialism.”
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Related words

graceless, ignorant, inappropriate, obnoxious

Browse related words in the Macmillan Thesaurus.

About the author

Liz Potter

Liz Potter

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