See more synonyms for lewd on Thesaurus.com
adjective, lewd·er, lewd·est.
  1. inclined to, characterized by, or inciting to lust or lechery; lascivious.
  2. obscene or indecent, as language or songs; salacious.
  3. Obsolete.
    1. low, ignorant, or vulgar.
    2. base, vile, or wicked, especially of a person.
    3. bad, worthless, or poor, especially of a thing.

Origin of lewd

before 900; Middle English leud, lewed, Old English lǣwede lay, unlearned
Related formslewd·ly, adverblewd·ness, noun
Can be confusedlewd obscene pornographic profanatory profane
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for lewd

Contemporary Examples of lewd

Historical Examples of lewd

  • They see everywhere, even in the most innocent objects, the most lewd allusions.

  • All lewd women are diseased some of the time and some lewd women are diseased all of the time.

  • I felt some pricks of shame at this lewd reference to my father.

    Athelstane Ford

    Allen Upward

  • Their humour was obscene and he was never at a loss for the lewd remark.

    The Trembling of a Leaf

    William Somerset Maugham

  • "Yea; mockers and scorners are Godwin and his lewd sons," answered the monk.

    Harold, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

British Dictionary definitions for lewd


  1. characterized by or intended to excite crude sexual desire; obscene
  2. obsolete
    1. wicked
    2. ignorant
Derived Formslewdly, adverblewdness, noun

Word Origin for lewd

C14: from Old English lǣwde lay, ignorant; see lay ³
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 lewd

Old English læwede "nonclerical," of uncertain origin but probably ultimately from Vulgar Latin *laigo-, from Latin laicus (see lay (adj.)). Sense of "unlettered, uneducated" (early 13c.) descended to "coarse, vile, lustful" by late 14c. Related: Lewdly; lewdness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper