Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1600-1700
Language: Late Latin
Origin: expletivus, from Latin explere 'to fill out'; because the words fill a space in a sentence without adding to the meaning

expletive

noun
     
ex‧ple‧tive [countable]
formal a rude word that you use when you are angry or in pain, for example 'shit' [= swear word]

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