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adjective, naugh·ti·er, naugh·ti·est.
  1. disobedient; mischievous (used especially in speaking to or about children): Weren't we naughty not to eat our spinach?
  2. improper, tasteless, indecorous, or indecent: a naughty word.
  3. Obsolete. wicked; evil.

Origin of naughty

Middle English word dating back to 1350–1400; see origin at naught, -y1
Related formsnaugh·ti·ly, adverbnaugh·ti·ness, noun

Synonyms for naughty

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1. willful, wayward, misbehaving. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for naughtily

naughtily, improperly, shamefully, wickedly, evilly, unethically

Examples from the Web for naughtily

Historical Examples of naughtily

  • And it is not true, is it, that you naughtily assaulted a gentleman of the Court?

    Sir Ludar

    Talbot Baines Reed

  • But you promise, when you revisit the library, not to behave so naughtily again?

    Bibliomania; or Book-Madness

    Thomas Frognall Dibdin

  • "It seems to me that you'd better read this yourself," she said, naughtily.

    Mr. Prohack

    E. Arnold Bennett

  • Out of doubt their clamours and stirs be to none other end, but to maintain more shamefully and naughtily ill-gotten things.

  • "It must be a relief to find we don't squint or hobble on crutches," added Dulcie naughtily.

British Dictionary definitions for naughtily


adjective -tier or -tiest
  1. (esp of children or their behaviour) mischievous or disobedient; bad
  2. mildly indecent; titillating
noun plural -ties
  1. Australian and NZ slang an act of sexual intercourse
Derived Formsnaughtily, adverbnaughtiness, noun

Word Origin for naughty

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

Word Origin and History for naughtily



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