adjective, naugh·ti·er, naugh·ti·est.
BEAT THE DOLDRUMS WITH THIS WORD OF THE DAY QUIZ!
OTHER WORDS FROM naughtynaugh·ti·ly, adverbnaugh·ti·ness, noun
Words nearby naughty
ABOUT THIS WORD
What does naughty mean?
Naughty means disobedient, mischievous, or generally misbehaving, particularly when applied to children.
Naughty is usually used in reference to misbehavior that’s minor or mischievous, as opposed to more serious disobedience. In this way, it’s also sometimes applied to pets.
Example: If you kids start to get naughty before bedtime, I’m going to take away your TV privileges.
In a much different context, naughty is used to describe things that are sexually suggestive, as in naughty jokes, or things that pertain to sex, often in a way that’s hidden, forbidden, or secret. In this way, it is often used playfully or as a euphemism (a milder substitute of what is being referred to).
Example: Oh my God, have you two been doing naughty stuff in the supply shed?
Where does naughty come from?
The first records of the word naughty come from around the 1400s. It comes from the word naught, meaning “nothing.” Naught comes from Middle English word nāwiht, from the parts nā, meaning “no,” and wiht, meaning “thing” or “person.” The earliest recorded uses of naughty refer to having nothing—being poor. It then took on senses meaning “evil” or “immoral.” In the 1500s, it took on its sexual meaning—at first more literal and later more ironic or euphemistic. It wasn’t until the 1600s or after that it was popularly used to describe misbehaving children.
Children called naughty are often those who don’t listen to a thing you say and don’t do anything you tell them to do. But the word implies that such behavior isn’t all that serious, and perhaps could even be considered cute (depending on who has to clean up the mess made by the naughty children). Pets who misbehave in this way can also be called naughty, as in Mr. Fluffles, you naughty kitty, why must you knock all my things off the shelf? The word can also be applied to adults in a humorous or ironic way, such as to describe someone cheating on their diet or sneaking food into a movie theater.
When naughty is used in a sexual way, it’s usually meant to be a bit cheeky or playful, often likening sexual activity to behavior that breaks the rules somehow. It’s commonly applied to things that are sexually suggestive or sexually explicit, as in You just watch that movie for the naughty parts. In this sense, a close synonym of the word is dirty. But it can also be used as a playful euphemism to refer to sexual activity, as in Your honeymoon is supposed to be spent being naughty!
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What are some other forms of naughty?
- naughtier (comparative adjective)
- naughtiest (superlative adjective)
- naughtily (adverb)
- naughtiness (noun)
What are some synonyms for naughty?
What are some words that share a root or word element with naughty?
What are some words that often get used in discussing naughty?
How is naughty used in real life?
The word naughty is used in modern conversation to refer to misbehaving children and pets. It is often used with a less serious and more playful tone.
Do parents still send their children to their grandparents for being naughty? I think I am ready to ship my kids to mum for a few years…upto 2030 or so.
— Coonde Ca Minyengwe 🐍 (@hopemkunte) April 16, 2020
Before I had cats, if I heard some noise in another room I'd get ready to defend myself from a masked intruder, now I just throw my head back and screech, "JERRY! STOP BEING NAUGHTY!!!!" at the top of my lungs, which is followed by the pitter patter of naughty cat paws
— beach read? lady, i'm tolstoy 🐿🐝🖖 (@FirstTimeTrek) February 11, 2020
We were a bit naughty this year🙈🎅🏼♥️ pic.twitter.com/pHg1QuMTdW
— 𝓀𝒶𝓇𝑒𝓃❀ (@kaarreenxo) December 26, 2019
Try using naughty!
Which of the following terms would NOT be used to describe a child considered naughty?
B. out of control
Example sentences from the Web for naughty
People trying to feel more whole will maybe try to cut out all their naughty bits.Are You Yoda or Darth Vader? - Issue 89: The Dark Side|Brian Gallagher|August 26, 2020|Nautilus
Can you call someone a ‘naughty boy’ or do you have to say ‘naughty man?’The UK’s War on Porn: ‘Proof That Men Making These Rules Do Not See Women as Equals’|Aurora Snow|December 6, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Click the option to be warned about sensitive media and these naughty images won't be thrust at you.Porn Stars Want to Know: Why Did Facebook Delete Me?|Aurora Snow|August 2, 2014|DAILY BEAST
It's not just Santa who knows whether you've been naughty or nice – so does the National Security Agency.Obama vs. Orwell—The Biggest Fight of His Second Term|John Avlon|December 22, 2013|DAILY BEAST
Yet for all her cred as a femme serieux, Kennedy keeps in close touch with the naughty girl of her past.Lisa Kennedy Montgomery on Her Path From MTV to Fox Business|Lloyd Grove|December 9, 2013|DAILY BEAST
The other photos, many showing lots of naked flesh, give a sense of how naughty avant-garde theater could get at that time.
"I am afraid my little boy is naughty to-night," Mrs. Menotti admonished him.Heimatlos|Johanna Spyri
Yes, it was your tricksy self, Wicked-trickèd little elf, Naughty Caroline!The Bon Gaultier Ballads|William Edmonstoune Aytoun
Jill always said her mother was too indolent for a prolonged effort; but then poor Jill often said naughty things.Uncle Max|Rosa Nouchette Carey
How can you be such a naughty boy and your poor mother just laid in her grave this very day?Anne Of Avonlea|Lucy Maud Montgomery
I am tempted to be naughty and make you laugh; but I won't draw the long bow.Letters of Two Brides|Honore de Balzac