: a person who is excessively or priggishly attentive to propriety or decorum
especially : a woman who shows or affects extreme modesty

Examples of prude in a Sentence

He is too much of a prude to enjoy movies containing sex and violence. the racy sitcom frequently satirizes exactly the sort of prude who would like to see the show taken off the air
Recent Examples on the Web Not that Fierstein suddenly became a prude. Vulture, 25 Apr. 2022 This does not necessarily me a narc or a prude. Eben Weiss, Outside Online, 9 Nov. 2022 Only a zealous prude could fully discount the entertainment in Oedipal friction, a source of narrative irony since, well, the myth of Oedipus. Miles Klee, Rolling Stone, 19 Jan. 2023 Everyone supports her but her boyfriend, who initially accuses her of being a prude. Ilana Kaplan, Vulture, 27 Mar. 2022 Yet writers are eager to join in the jokes about the humorless prude who wants to stifle academic freedom, rather than trying to understand the whole story. Elizabeth Preston, Discover Magazine, 7 Dec. 2010 In life, there is little evidence that Dickens was, in the context of his time and place, a sexist or a prude. The New Yorker, 28 Feb. 2022 Meanwhile in Manhattan, resident prude Charlotte York Goldenblatt was interrupted one morning with her husband. Raven Smith, Vogue, 26 Jan. 2022 From the goofy humor of X-rated spoofs to the beloved crassness of edgy comics who live to shock the prude out of us, both styles of entertainment require a certain level of fearlessness. Los Angeles Times, 18 Jan. 2022

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

Word History


French, good woman, prudish woman, short for prudefemme good woman, from Old French prode femme

First Known Use

1704, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of prude was in 1704

Dictionary Entries Near prude

Cite this Entry

“Prude.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


: a person who is easily shocked or offended by things that do not shock or offend others
prudishly adverb
prudishness noun

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