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adjective, bawd·i·er, bawd·i·est.
  1. indecent; lewd; obscene: another of his bawdy stories.
  1. coarse or indecent talk or writing; bawdry; bawdiness: a collection of Elizabethan bawdy.

Origin of bawdy

First recorded in 1505–15; bawd + -y1
Related formsbawd·i·ly, adverbbawd·i·ness, noun


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1. lascivious, salacious, prurient, earthy, risqué, ribald, coarse, licentious, raunchy.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for bawdily


adjective bawdier or bawdiest
  1. (of language, plays, etc) containing references to sex, esp to be humorous
  1. obscenity or eroticism, esp in writing or drama
Derived Formsbawdily, adverbbawdiness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for bawdily



late 14c., "soiled, dirty, filthy," from bawd + -y (2). Meaning "lewd" is from 1510s, from notion of "pertaining to or befitting a bawd;" usually of language (originally to talk bawdy).

Bawdy Basket, the twenty-third rank of canters, who carry pins, tape, ballads and obscene books to sell. [Grose, "Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue," 1785]

Related: Bawdily; bawdiness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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