Definition of Mrs. Grundy
: one marked by prudish conventionality in personal conduct
Mrs. Grundy was our Word of the Day on 01/22/2010. Hear the podcast!
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
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.
Origin and Etymology of mrs. grundy
from a character alluded to in Thomas Morton's Speed the Plough (1798)
First Known Use: 1813
Seen and Heard
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