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See more synonyms for bawdry on Thesaurus.com
  1. Archaic. lewdness; obscenity; bawdiness.
  2. Obsolete.
    1. the business of a prostitute.
    2. illicit intercourse; fornication.
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Origin of bawdry

First recorded in 1350–1400, bawdry is from the Middle English word bawdery. See bawd, -ery
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for bawdry

filth, dirt, profanity, vulgarity, smut, scatology, ribaldry

Examples from the Web for bawdry

Historical Examples of bawdry

  • He omitted a good deal of bawdry, especially in Act II, scene ii.

    The City Bride (1696)

    Joseph Harris

  • Thus, Brooks lumps 1601 with Mark Twain's "bawdry," and interprets it simply as another indication of frustration.


    Mark Twain

  • He was primed with the letter-accounts; he made her dot her amorous I's and cross her bawdry T's.

  • It is also noteworthy that, for the period, the bawdry is "cut" to the lowest limit.

  • This will prove rare sport, to see how the poet's genius will grapple with this bawdry!

British Dictionary definitions for bawdry


  1. archaic obscene talk or language
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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 bawdry


"obscenity," late 14c., probably from Old French bauderie "boldness, ardor, elation, pride" (see bawd).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper