Some people argue that poverty and misbehave go hand in hand, but I think that this view is more visceral rather than being intellectually based on facts.

Did I use the word "visceral" correctly in this sentence? I want to say that some people just say this because they feel so, they do not have any reason to support their claim.

  • 2
    Misbehave is a verb, not a noun. Commented Feb 14, 2022 at 21:08
  • I have a visceral dislike of the sight of spilled blood, or of the thought of torture. My views about poverty and (I guess) criminality are political, and 'visceral' would be an inaccurate and dismissive adjective to apply to them. Commented Feb 14, 2022 at 21:16
  • misbehavior: Please don't ask us to proofread anymore.
    – Lambie
    Commented Feb 14, 2022 at 21:17
  • 1
    @Lambie This isn't a proofreading request. As the close flag reads: "Questions asking for someone to find and correct errors or improve the phrasing are considered requests for proofreading and are off-topic. Please edit your question to focus on something in particular that you are unsure about". The question focuses on uncertainty about the correct usage of the word "visceral". The OP has also given the meaning of "visceral" that they intend. The OP did not ask us to find errors or to improve their phrasing.
    – gotube
    Commented Feb 25, 2022 at 20:29
  • 2
    @Lambie You are entitled to your opinion, but you are not entitled to tell users that their on-topic questions are off-topic. Also, assuming you close-voted, you're not entitled to vote questions closed that are on-topic according to the text in the flag.
    – gotube
    Commented Feb 25, 2022 at 20:39

2 Answers 2


Visceral means the instinctive gut feeling (viscera is the name for the cavities in the body, especially the intestines)

He has a visceral fear of spiders.

I don't think this is the right word. I think that you might say that the connection between poverty and crime is a "common-sense notion" or a "folk belief", or even an "urban myth", and it isn't supported by evidence.

  • "it isn't supported by evidence." - that would be a matter of opinion. Commented Feb 14, 2022 at 22:49
  • I think that is the opinion that the OP is intending. They state that the view point is not "based on facts", which seems to make their view clear.
    – James K
    Commented Feb 14, 2022 at 23:03

Your use of visceral falls well within one of its basic meanings, specifically,

Merriam-Wester visceral

2 : not intellectual : instinctive, unreasoning visceral drives

American Heritage Dictionary visceral

  1. Being or arising from impulse or sudden emotion rather than from thought or deliberation

Collins visceral

Visceral feelings are feelings that you feel very deeply and find it difficult to control or ignore, and that are not the result of thought.

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