obsolete : pander
: one who keeps a house of prostitution : madam

Examples of bawd in a Sentence

in the 17th century the port was a notorious hangout for Caribbean pirates and their bawds
Recent Examples on the Web Lewd women, bawds and adventuresses were not welcome in courts, nor were prostitutes or immoral characters. Clement Knox, Time, 4 Feb. 2020 Two rival madams—based on real historical characters—are fighting each other for a customer base: earthy bawd Mrs. Margaret Wells and elegant, conniving Mrs. Lydia Quigley. Viv Groskop, Newsweek, 21 Mar. 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'bawd.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English bawde

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of bawd was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near bawd

Cite this Entry

“Bawd.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Apr. 2024.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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