\ˈbȯ-dē \
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 \ adverb
bawdiness \ˈbȯ-​dē-​nəs \ 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

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 That came in response to an Inquirer and Daily News story about eight women and three men who had accused him of subjecting female staffers to bawdy comments or unwanted touching. Chris Brennan,, "The left-wing uprising that led to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's victory in N.Y.? It happened first in Pa. | Clout," 6 July 2018 Wander from the creamy pastels of a Venetian palazzo into a sumptuous, boudoir-like interior, and then to a bustling and bawdy room celebrating Casanova’s cunning: gambling, prognosticating, and wooing nuns. Cate Mcquaid,, "MFA’s ‘Casanova’ a voluptuous look at a notorious voluptuary," 6 July 2018 Using a touch sometimes light, sometimes heavy, alternately poignant, faux-cynical and bawdy, the director and co-writer (with W. P. Rosenthal) is fully in control of the complex material. Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Bikini Moon': Film Review | Shanghai 2018," 27 June 2018 The news has prompted fans and haters alike to chew over the bawdy show's legacy. Kyle Swenson,, "Jerry Springer changed TV forever. After 27 seasons, his daytime talk circus may be over.," 20 June 2018 Chinese rap music has its roots among young migrants, who were also the main users of Neihan Duanzi, a popular app specialising in bawdy jokes that state censors closed down in April. The Economist, "In China’s cities, young people with rural ties are angry," 3 May 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

21 Nov 2018

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

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living or existing for a long time

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