Mrs. Grundy

Mrs. Grun·​dy | \ -ˈgrən-dē How to pronounce Mrs. Grundy (audio) \

Definition of Mrs. Grundy

: one marked by prudish conventionality in personal conduct

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for Mrs. Grundy



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Did You Know?

What would Mrs. Grundy say? Dame Ashfield, a character in Thomas Morton's 1798 play Speed the Plough, was continually asking that question and worrying about invoking the sneering condemnation of her prudish neighbor, Mrs. Grundy. Although Mrs. Grundy never actually appeared on stage during the play, her critical attitude exerted a significant influence on the actions of other characters, and ultimately on the English language. By 1813, English speakers had adopted her name as a byword for anyone with extremely rigid standards of propriety that he or she applied in judging the actions of others.

Examples of Mrs. Grundy in a Sentence

the librarian pointed out that many of the books that contain material that was once offensive to the Mrs. Grundys of the world are now revered as literary classics

First Known Use of Mrs. Grundy

1813, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for Mrs. Grundy

from a character alluded to in Thomas Morton's Speed the Plough (1798)

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about Mrs. Grundy

Time Traveler for Mrs. Grundy

Time Traveler

The first known use of Mrs. Grundy was in 1813

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast about Mrs. Grundy

Dictionary Entries near Mrs. Grundy

Mr. Right



Mrs. Grundy




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for Mrs. Grundy

Cite this Entry

“Mrs. Grundy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on Mrs. Grundy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for Mrs. Grundy

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with Mrs. Grundy

Comments on Mrs. Grundy

What made you want to look up Mrs. Grundy? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a blooming wisteria tree
  • Which is a synonym of exiguous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!