The Meaning of Voluptuous: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of voluptuous? This guide will provide you with all of the info you need on the word voluptuous, including its definition, etymology, example sentences, and more!

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What does the word voluptuous mean?

According to Merriam-Webster Unabridged English Dictionary and other dictionary apps, the word voluptuous is an adjective that describes something that suggests sensual pleasure, curvaceousness, and sexuality. The word voluptuous is often used to describe a curvy, full-figured, attractive woman who has a strong sexual appeal. The adverb form of voluptuous is voluptuously, and the noun form of voluptuous is voluptuousness. This word can be used to describe people as well as things, as one might use it to describe something that is associated with luxury or pleasure. Someone could describe a woman as voluptuous as well as a luxury vacation. 

This word is strongly related to sexual desire, and people are often described as having a voluptuous body. Hollywood actresses are often expected to be voluptuous, as they are expected to provide gratification of the senses of the viewers. The word voluptuous is also present in many other languages to describe things that are luxurious or people who are curvy and full figured. This list of translations for the word voluptuous is provided by Word Sense.

  • Hungarian: telt‎
  • Spanish: voluptuoso‎
  • Vietnamese: dâm‎
  • Scottish Gaelic: sòghail‎
  • French: voluptueux‎ (masc.) (m-p), voluptueuse‎ (fem.), voluptueuses‎ (fem. pl.)
  • Italian: formoso‎
  • Portuguese: voluptuoso‎
  • Russian: пы́шный‎, роско́шный‎, фигу́ристый‎, с краси́выми окру́глыми фо́рмами‎
  • Catalan: voluptuós‎
  • Swedish: frodig‎, yppig‎
  • Dutch: voluptueus‎
  • Chinese: – Mandarin: 凹凸有致‎ (āotūyǒuzhì), 豐滿‎, 丰满‎ (fēngmǎn), 肉感‎ (ròugǎn)
  • Danish: frodig‎, yppig‎
  • Finnish: muodokas‎
  • Japanese: 肉感的‎, 豊満‎
  • Finnish: nautinnollinen‎, aistillinen‎, hekumallinen‎

What is the origin of the word voluptuous?

According to Etymonline, the word voluptuous has been used since the late 14th century to mean pertaining to desires or appetites. This word comes from the Old French voluptueux and volumptueuse. These come directly from the Latin voluptuosus meaning delightful or full of pleasure, stemming from the Latin voluptas meaning pleasure or delight. This comes from the root volup meaning pleasurably which may be related to the word velle meaning to wish. This comes from the Proto-Into-European word wel- meaning to wish or will. The meaning of voluptuous to mena addicted to sensual pleasure has been in use since the mid 15th century. Using the word to mean suggestive of sensual pleasure has been attested since 1816, and it has been used especially to reference femenine beauty since 1839.

What are synonyms and antonyms for the word voluptuous?

There are many different words that one can use in place of the word voluptuous. Synonyms, which are words that have the same definition as other words or phrases, are very useful if you are looking to expand your vocabulary or avoid repeating yourself. This list of synonyms for the word voluptuous is provided by Thesaurus

  • shapely
  • full-figured
  • salacious
  • appealing
  • Rubensesque
  • enticing
  • attractive
  • sensuous
  • delightful
  • hedonist
  • desirable
  • lubricious
  • luxurious
  • epicurean
  • full-bosomed
  • sexy
  • erotic
  • well proportioned
  • luscious
  • hedonistic
  • ample
  • fleshly
  • well formed
  • wanton
  • sybaritic
  • lush
  • indulgent
  • Junoesque
  • pleasing
  • buxom
  • curvaceous
  • opulent
  • self-indulgent

There are also a great many words that mean the opposite of the word voluptuous. These are called antonyms, and are useful to know, especially if you tend to negate words rather than simply using words that are the opposite of given words or phrases. This list of antonyms for voluptuous is also provided by Thesaurus.

  • incorrupt
  • deformed
  • prudish
  • controlled
  • frightful
  • intemerate
  • wholesome
  • unsightly
  • hideous
  • innocent
  • disfigured
  • bad-looking
  • repelling
  • repugnant
  • unblemished
  • unstained
  • celibate
  • decent
  • subdued
  • horrid
  • not much to look at
  • platonic
  • neat
  • vestal
  • repulsive
  • restrained
  • unattractive
  • unaffected
  • disgusting
  • chaste
  • modest
  • unsullied
  • unappealing
  • impotent
  • virginal
  • spotless
  • immaculate
  • moral
  • beastly
  • unwed
  • grotesque
  • gross
  • continent
  • austere
  • elegant
  • quiet
  • inexperienced
  • monogamous
  • revolting
  • pure
  • refined
  • unalluring
  • clean
  • uncontaminated
  • simple
  • homely
  • undefiled
  • proper
  • virtuous
  • monstrous
  • decorous
  • stainless
  • plain
  • ugly

How can the word voluptuous be used in a sentence?

The word voluptuous can be used in many different circumstances to describe things that appeal to one’s sensual desires. However, one should be careful when using this word in pleasant company because it does imply some amount or eroticism. In this example, Levi and Gigi are in a museum looking at the sculptures. They come across a statue of a naked, curvaceous woman.

Levi: That’s quite a… voluptuous woman.

Gigi: Definitely… a lot of shapeliness going on in her… chest… region.

Levi: Do we think the artist was trying to appeal to some sort of sensual gratifications or was this a real person?

Gigi: Who can say!

Levi:… I know I’m supposed to be mature and respect the art, but can we go to another room where I don’t feel like I’m going to start giggling at naked women like I’m in middle school?

Gigi: Absolutely. Let’s go to the Art of War exhibit.

Levi: Perfect. Lead the way.

Here, Levi uses the word voluptuous to describe the curvy statue that is in the sculpture room. He is trying to be respectful about how he is describing the piece, but ends up leaving with Gigi for some art that is less sexual in nature. While the word voluptuous is heavily associated with describing the female form, it can also be used to describe a wine, like a “voluptuous, full-bodied merlot.” It could also be used to describe something very luxurious. For example, someone could say that they went on a, “voluptuous all-expenses-paid vacation to the Cayman Islands.”

Overall, the word voluptuous means curvy, full figured, and sexually desirable. This word is often used to describe people or bodies, but can also be used to describe full-bodied wine, music, or luxury items. This term is associated with a gratification of the senses and is a very descriptive word. 

Sources:

  1. https://www.thesaurus.com/browse/voluptuous
  2. https://www.thesaurus.com/browse/unattractive
  3. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/voluptuous#other-words
  4. https://www.wordsense.eu/voluptuous/
  5. https://www.etymonline.com/word/voluptuous