- vulgar or indecent in speech, language, etc.; coarsely mocking, abusive, or irreverent; scurrilous.
- a ribald person.
Origin of ribald
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for ribald
He is the master of ribald repartee; he could be cutting without being catty.'The Village Voice' Was Crazy to Fire Him: 5 Reasons Why Michael Musto Matters
May 17, 2013
At ABC, their ribald cop show, The Job, was jerked around the schedule before finally being canceled in 2002 after two seasons.Denis Leary to the Rescue
April 7, 2009
A cry of surprise was raised, and drowned in a volley of ribald inquiry and chaff.The Black Bag
Louis Joseph Vance
But yesternight that ribald mocked him with his lack of scars.The Sea-Hawk
All his life Alexander had been the victim of the most ribald calumnies.The Life of Cesare Borgia
Logan raised his voice to repeat the words and to add a ribald comment.Nan of Music Mountain
Frank H. Spearman
Mr. Harding showed that he had a large repertoire of ribald rhyme.The Wrong Woman
Charles D. Stewart
- coarse, obscene, or licentious, usually in a humorous or mocking way
- a ribald person
Word Origin and History for ribald
c.1500, from ribald, ribaud (n.), mid-13c., "a rogue, ruffian, rascall, scoundrell, varlet, filthie fellow" [Cotgrave], from Old French ribaut, ribalt "rogue, scoundrel, lewd lover," also as an adjective, "wanton, depraved, dissolute, licentious," of uncertain origin, perhaps (with suffix -ald) from riber "be wanton, sleep around, dally amorously," from a Germanic source (cf. Old High German riban "be wanton," literally "to rub," possibly from the common euphemistic use of "rub" words to mean "have sex"), from Proto-Germanic *wribanan, from PIE root *wer- (3) "to turn, bend" (see versus).