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naughty

[naw-tee]
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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.
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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

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

Related Words

misdemeanormischiefimproprietyimmoralityshenanigansfaultinsubordinationhorseplaytransgressionmisdeedwrongdoingrudenessincivilitymisconductindiscipline

Examples from the Web for naughtiness

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • And somehow you knew it wasn't your naughtiness that made her cry.

  • And all this grief Emily brought upon her friends by her own naughtiness.

    The Fairchild Family

    Mary Martha Sherwood

  • Fancy Mary Gladstone forgiving me even that second naughtiness!

    Hortus Inclusus

    John Ruskin

  • The second "naughtiness" will be found in "Arrows of the Chace," Vol.

    Hortus Inclusus

    John Ruskin

  • But, you see, I have taken a great fancy to her in spite of her naughtiness.

    A Modern Tomboy

    L. T. Meade


British Dictionary definitions for naughtiness

naughty

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

Word Origin

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 naughtiness

naughty

adj.

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).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper