euphemism eu-phe-mism / yo͞o-fə-mĭz-əm noun 1. an inoffensive term used in place of one that is considered offensive or distressful Frankness is usually a euphemism for rudeness. Muriel Spark, 1918 – 2006 2. the use of an inoffensive phrase or word in place of one that is offensive or distressful Euphemism is common in hospital and medical facilities where bodily functions need to be discussed. Diane F. Halpern, ? – etymology From the ancient Greek prefix eu (well, good), noun pheme (speaking), and suffix ismos (action, practice). Thank you to Allen Ward for providing this etymology.