naugh·​ty ˈnȯ-tē How to pronounce naughty (audio) ˈnä- How to pronounce naughty (audio)
naughtier; naughtiest
: guilty of disobedience or misbehavior
a naughty child
archaic : vicious in moral character : wicked
: lacking in taste or propriety
No naughty jokes in front of the children, please!
naughtily adverb
naughtiness noun

Example Sentences

She gave him a naughty smile. told her to act her age and stop throwing temper tantrums like a naughty little girl
Recent Examples on the Web Sure, there’s a smattering of premium cable language here and there, but aside from a few naughty words, there’s not much to differentiate the show from its predecessor. Joshua Alston, Variety, 21 Nov. 2022 But in the morning, the couple emerged from the goathouse as flushed and giddy as naughty teenagers. Lisa Wells, Harper’s Magazine , 13 Mar. 2023 Whether people litter to be naughty or hate having garbage in their cars, global advocates warn the problem will only worsen in the coming years. Emilie Le Beau Lucchesi, Discover Magazine, 8 Apr. 2023 Auden is the brilliant trickster, the naughty boy with a stink bomb and a devastating verse about the Latin master. Nick Laird, The New York Review of Books, 16 Mar. 2023 Are all the naughty girls and dissolute boys destined to become ascetics and monks? Saidiya Hartman, The New Yorker, 3 Mar. 2023 Below, shop the Goop holiday party’s naughty and nice gifts and more present ideas below. Ingrid Schmidt, The Hollywood Reporter, 14 Dec. 2022 What is the name of the 2015 horror comedy starring a horned beast who punishes naughty children at Christmas? Clare Mulroy, USA TODAY, 16 Nov. 2022 And the song features some naughty lyrics. Tomás Mier, Rolling Stone, 22 Dec. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'naughty.' 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 noughti, from nought

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1b

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

Dictionary Entries Near naughty

Cite this Entry

“Naughty.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


naugh·​ty ˈnȯt-ē How to pronounce naughty (audio)
naughtier; naughtiest
: behaving badly or improperly
naughtily adverb
naughtiness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on naughty

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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