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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 naughtiness
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • And somehow you knew it wasn't your naughtiness that made her cry.

  • And all this grief Emily brought upon her friends by her own naughtiness.

    The Fairchild Family Mary Martha Sherwood
  • Fancy Mary Gladstone forgiving me even that second naughtiness!

    Hortus Inclusus John Ruskin
  • The second "naughtiness" will be found in "Arrows of the Chace," Vol.

    Hortus Inclusus John Ruskin
  • But, you see, I have taken a great fancy to her in spite of her naughtiness.

    A Modern Tomboy L. T. Meade
  • We know our vulgarity and the naughtiness of our own hearts.

  • She clung to him like a child wearied with its own naughtiness.

    Hopes and Fears Charlotte M. Yonge
British Dictionary definitions for naughtiness


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 naughtiness



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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