[ prood ]
/ prud /


a person who is excessively proper or modest in speech, conduct, dress, etc.

Nearby words

  1. prs,
  2. prs.,
  3. prt,
  4. prud'hon,
  5. prud'hon, pierre paul,
  6. prudence,
  7. prudent,
  8. prudential,
  9. prudentiality,
  10. prudentially

Origin of prude

1695–1705; < French prude a prude (noun), prudish (adj.), short for prudefemme, Old French prodefeme worthy or respectable woman. See proud, feme

Related formsprude·like, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for prude

British Dictionary definitions for prude


/ (pruːd) /


a person who affects or shows an excessively modest, prim, or proper attitude, esp regarding sex
Derived Formsprudish, adjectiveprudishly, adverbprudishness or prudery, noun

Word Origin for prude

C18: from French, from prudefemme, from Old French prode femme respectable woman; see proud

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 prude



1704, "woman who affects or upholds modesty in a degree considered excessive," from French prude "excessively prim or demure woman," first recorded in Molière. Perhaps a false back-formation or an ellipsis of preudefemme "a discreet, modest woman," from Old French prodefame "noblewoman, gentlewoman; wife, consort," fem. equivalent of prudhomme "a brave man" (see proud); or perhaps a direct noun use of the French adjective prude "prudish," from Old French prude, prode, preude "good, virtuous, modest," a feminine form of the adjective preux. Also occasionally as an adjective in English 18c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper