prud·​ery | \ ˈprü-d(ə-)rē How to pronounce prudery (audio) \
plural pruderies

Definition of prudery

1 : the characteristic quality or state of a prude
2 : a prudish act or remark

Examples of prudery in a Sentence

such prudery regarding artistic depictions of the nude has no place on a college campus
Recent Examples on the Web In her frank exploration of animal vaginas, Brennan is beginning to challenge some the traces of prudery, male bias and lack of curiosity about female genitals that Darwin left behind. Rachel E. Gross, Smithsonian Magazine, 31 Mar. 2022 Populating the novel is the usual cast of characters, foremost among them the cop shop’s inimitable secretary, Agatino Catarella, who blends obsequiousness, prudery and verbal ineptitude into a patois all his own. Washington Post, 8 Oct. 2021 Instead, in their misguided attempt to protect children, Jim Exon and company would export a vision of America based on fear, prudery, ignorance and oppression. Steven Levy, Wired, 29 May 2020 Even if the past has a rich erotic literature, contemporary literature is less prudish than in the past, with the exception of Russia, which has never been freed from prudery. Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov, Harper's magazine, 28 Oct. 2019 The Academy was eager to give him the Oscar both to showcase its view that he had been victimized by prudery and to dunk on conservatives. Kyle Smith, National Review, 9 July 2019 Pleasure and its unfettered indulgence drove the latter, who refused to put up with the prudery of polite society. David Pagel,, 17 Apr. 2018 See More

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

First Known Use of prudery

1709, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of prudery was in 1709

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Dictionary Entries Near prudery

prudent investment


Prudhoe Bay

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Cite this Entry

“Prudery.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Aug. 2022.

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