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

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


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for bawdiness


adjective bawdier or bawdiest
  1. (of language, plays, etc) containing references to sex, esp to be humorous
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  1. obscenity or eroticism, esp in writing or drama
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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 bawdiness



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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper