\ ˈbȯ-dē How to pronounce bawdy (audio) \
bawdier; bawdiest

Definition of bawdy

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : obscene, lewd a bawdy comedian
2 : boisterously or humorously indecent bawdy jokes



Definition of bawdy (Entry 2 of 2)

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Other Words from bawdy


bawdily \ ˈbȯ-​də-​lē How to pronounce bawdily (audio) \ adverb
bawdiness \ ˈbȯ-​dē-​nəs How to pronounce bawdiness (audio) \ noun

Examples of bawdy in a Sentence


a bawdy film that is not appropriate for children a bawdy comment about someone you work with could get you fired

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Baldwin wields the skinny microphone made famous by the Goodson-Todman Productions show’s founding host, Gene Rayburn, in the 1970s, while the celebrity guest panelists have upheld the original’s boozy, bawdy atmosphere. Stephen Battaglio,, "Alec Baldwin tells us about ‘Match Game’s’ biggest drinkers and giving up his ‘SNL’ Trump role," 12 June 2019 The claws will come out and the bawdy insults will fly Friday at the Fillmore Detroit, site of Detroit’s second CATFIGHT FOR THE CROWN. Greg Crawford, Detroit Free Press, "The weekend: Big Bounce in Fraser, Motor City Pride, Art of Fire in Royal Oak," 5 June 2019 Before the fashion show, Robbie Gordy from Christie’s New York and Marti Gould Cummings commanded the live auction with bawdy humor and contagious enthusiasm. Ian Malone, Vogue, "This Year’s Jeffrey Fashion Cares Event Unfolded in Spectacular Fashion," 11 Apr. 2019 Critics praised the show’s design, but the DC production caught flak for bawdy humor that wasn’t family-friendly. Elysa Gardner, Town & Country, "How Beetlejuice Got to Broadway," 12 Mar. 2019 Those unable to catch the production can soon enjoy the titular Fleabag and all her bawdy antics when the show’s second season premieres on May 17. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, "Anna Wintour Welcomes Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Fleabag to New York With an Intimate Dinner," 13 Mar. 2019 Photos of bawdy behavior – including one of a man in a bar with his head inside a woman’s shirt – were recently sent to California Gov. Jerry Brown from a source who claimed to be a California State Lottery employee, according to a report. Dom Calicchio, Fox News, "California Lottery officials seen in bawdy photos sent to governor: report," 9 Aug. 2018 The lewd, bawdy and outrageous fail to stun us anymore as Trump has stomped out all expectations of integrity in the nation's highest office. Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press, "As Stormy Daniels strips, truth about America laid bare: No moral compass in White House," 18 Apr. 2018 Now in its 65th year, the Old Mission Beach Athletic Club’s annual Over-the-Line beach-softball blowout has a longstanding reputation for inviting all and sundry for a walk on the bawdy side. Karla Peterson,, "Over-the-Line's Miss Emerson Contest isn't what you think it is," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The platform, which shares features in common with Instagram, Snapchat and Periscope, has become a way to exchange glimpses — often bawdy and free spirited — of ordinary lives in China. Raymond Zhong, New York Times, "China Isn’t Happy About Its Newest Internet Stars: Teenage Moms," 6 Apr. 2018 Lawrence will readily admit to making a mistake or two, although her stories have more of a bawdy, good-time flavor. Laura Brown, Harper's BAZAAR, "Jennifer Lawrence: Truth and Beauty," 7 Apr. 2016 Arianda must switch back and forth from playing a bawdy, swearing wannabe actress to a 19th-century seductress, pull off a British accent and hold her own against Broadway charmer Hugh Dancy. Kerry Pieri, Harper's BAZAAR, "Venus in Fur on Broadway: A Star is Born," 9 Nov. 2011

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bawdy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of bawdy


circa 1513, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1656, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for bawdy


bawd + -y entry 1


probably from bawdy entry 1

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Dictionary Entries near bawdy





bawdy house



Statistics for bawdy

Last Updated

20 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bawdy

The first known use of bawdy was circa 1513

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More Definitions for bawdy



English Language Learners Definition of bawdy

: dealing with sex in a way that is meant to be funny

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More from Merriam-Webster on bawdy

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bawdy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bawdy

Spanish Central: Translation of bawdy

Nglish: Translation of bawdy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bawdy for Arabic Speakers

Comments on bawdy

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showing courage and determination

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