Pimp Meaning: Here’s What It Means and How To Use It

While it isn’t a word that most people hear everyday, knowing pimp’s meaning is important. Here is everything you need to know!

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In the modern world, sex workers provide a particular service to many people worldwide. While people who work in this industry are often discriminated against, sex workers deserve to be treated with respect. 

However, sex work has evolved a ton in the past few decades. As sex work becomes more regulated and protections are put into place for workers, certain toxic elements of the industry are becoming obsolete. One aspect of sex work that is becoming a thing of the past is the role of the pimp.

Read on to find out what a pimp is, what they do, and why they are so rejected by regular people.

What Does the Word Pimp Mean? 

In the English Dictionary, a pimp (pɪmp) is a person who scouts and manages prostitutes, finding clients for them while taking a share of the earnings. They are often hustlers working outside of the law to find people who are willing (or sometimes unwilling) to work as prostitutes. In some parts of the world, this activity is legal — however, both prostitution and pimping are illegal in many societies. 

As time goes on, the legality of prostitution is evolving. More countries are legalizing sex work, presenting opportunities for regulations that can protect sex workers. This legalization often does not extend to pimps.

The word pimp is also used as a verb in many cases. For example, if someone is actively working as a pimp, they would often be described as pimping or “pimpin'” people off for sex work. 

In other cases, the word pimp is often used as an informal word to describe making something more impressive and luxurious. For example, if someone puts some more expensive and luxurious features onto their car, they would sometimes describe it as “pimping their ride.” Some people believe that this use is in poor taste, so be mindful of your audience when deciding to use the word pimp.

Where Does the Word Pimp Come From? 

The word pimp is interesting in the English language because many people can’t agree on the origin and etymology of the word. To some linguists and scholars, the term has an unknown origin simply because there aren’t many words to which it can clearly be tied. 

To other linguistic scholars, the word can be attributed to words within the French language. Some possible origins include the French pimpant, which means to dress seductively and alluringly, and pimper, which means to dress elegantly. However, these words aren’t entirely linked with the word’s modern meaning, so these attributions are still debated.

When it comes to synonyms for the word pimp, there are many word lists of them available. Most of the time, they are relatively harsh-sounding. Frankly, we don’t recommend using many of these in conversation:

  • Whoremonger
  • Souteneur
  • Procuress
  • Ponce
  • Mack
  • Bawd
  • Procurer
  • Brothel-keeper

Why Do People Look Down on Pimps? 

From sex trafficking to abuse, there are countless stories of people experiencing incredibly traumatic and challenging stories during their time in the industry before it was regulated. In fact, many people in this industry have been shown to not want to be there and are being prostituted against their will. While many people choose sex work and find it empowering, legalization has allowed more regulation to prevent human trafficking.

Since pimps work as the middle man between clients and prostitutes, it’s often hard to extract them from the damage in the industry. In many cases, pimps turn a blind eye to many of the harsh realities happening around them, and they sometimes participate in trafficking or coercion. 

Example Sentences Using the Word Pimp

One of the best ways to learn how to use a word is by seeing it in use in an actual sentence. If you don’t know how to properly use a word, it can be embarrassing if you attempt to use it. However, example sentences exist to make it easier to understand which contexts and grammatical structures a word can be used within. Here are some examples that you can look at and mimic! 

While that may just seem like a random house on the end of the street, the reality is that it is run by a pimp. 

The agency recently uncovered a string of pimps ranging from New York to New Zealand. 

The famous pimp kept trying to edit his Wikipedia page to have a less aggressive view of his life and actions. 

Moses spent over three thousand dollars pimping out his car to get it wrecked when he ran a red light! 


If pimp is just one word that you don’t know how to use, then maybe it’d be good for you to take some time checking out our blog here at The Word Counter! We’re constantly releasing new blog posts about the finer parts of the English language, ranging from confusing grammar to unknown words to strange acronyms. If you’re looking to expand your communication ability in the modern world, we’re here to help you accomplish all your linguistic goals! 

If you have a few minutes, please check out some of our latest blog posts and articles right here on our website! 


  1. Pimp Definition & Meaning | Dictionary.com
  2. Pimp – Definition, Meaning & Synonyms | Vocabulary.com
  3. Pimp definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary