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[naw-tee] /ˈnɔ ti/
adjective, naughtier, naughtiest.
disobedient; mischievous (used especially in speaking to or about children):
Weren't we naughty not to eat our spinach?
improper, tasteless, indecorous, or indecent:
a naughty word.
Obsolete. wicked; evil.
Origin of naughty
Middle English word dating back to 1350-1400; See origin at naught, -y1
Related forms
naughtily, adverb
naughtiness, noun
1. willful, wayward, misbehaving. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for naughtily
Historical Examples
  • And it is not true, is it, that you naughtily assaulted a gentleman of the Court?

    Sir Ludar Talbot Baines Reed
  • But you promise, when you revisit the library, not to behave so naughtily again?

    Bibliomania; or Book-Madness

    Thomas Frognall Dibdin
  • "It seems to me that you'd better read this yourself," she said, naughtily.

    Mr. Prohack

    E. Arnold Bennett
  • Out of doubt their clamours and stirs be to none other end, but to maintain more shamefully and naughtily ill-gotten things.

  • "It must be a relief to find we don't squint or hobble on crutches," added Dulcie naughtily.

  • "That wouldn't make very much difference," she replied, naughtily.

    The Heart of Arethusa

    Francis Barton Fox
  • For she was naughtily aware of Dudley Sowerby's distaste for the story and disgust with the damsel Delphica.

  • She saw him cast a glance over her neat, walking costume, as he approached, and naughtily determined to prolong his uncertainty.

    Flaming June Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey
  • You naughtily implied something of that kind just when you were running away from me.

  • But we shant, whispered Mollie, naughtily to Barbara, under cover of general conversation.

British Dictionary definitions for naughtily


adjective -tier, -tiest
(esp of children or their behaviour) mischievous or disobedient; bad
mildly indecent; titillating
noun (pl) -ties
(Austral & NZ, slang) an act of sexual intercourse
Derived Forms
naughtily, adverb
naughtiness, noun
Word Origin
C14 (originally: needy, of poor quality): from naught
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
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Word Origin and History for naughtily



late 14c., naugti "needy, having nothing," from Old English nawiht (see naught) + -y (2). Sense of "wicked, evil, morally wrong" is attested from 1520s; specific meaning "sexually promiscuous" is from 1869. The more tame main modern sense of "disobedient" (especially of children) is attested from 1630s. Related: Naughtily; naughtiness. A woman of bad character c.1530-1750 might be called a naughty pack (also sometimes of men and later of children).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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