prud·​ish ˈprü-dish How to pronounce prudish (audio)
: marked by prudery : priggish
prudishly adverb
prudishness noun

Examples of prudish in a Sentence

by the prudish standards of the 19th century, any depiction of the nude was scandalous
Recent Examples on the Web Prudes are going to be prudish, so no point in trying to appease them in a show that’s all about the havoc that’s wrought when human biology is denied by moralistic zealots. Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times, 1 Nov. 2023 Nathan Lane is probably not the most prudish actor in the world. Chris Willman, Variety, 8 Oct. 2023 But the idea of young people being prudish now is so warped to me. Michael Schulman, The New Yorker, 17 Sep. 2023 As a British tourist, several Estonians warned me against visiting Kalma Saun—perhaps because of my own country’s more prudish attitudes towards public baths, or because this particular sauna isn’t engineered to appeal to outsiders. Frankie Adkins, Condé Nast Traveler, 28 July 2023 There’s opportunity to push past her prudish tendencies and explore her sexuality anew. Sonia Rao, Washington Post, 10 Aug. 2023 Wilde believed that, contrary to the claims of sentimentalism and of generations of prudish literary critics, the quality of a work of art does not depend on its ethical purity—that art depicting the degraded, the depraved, or the wicked can still be beautiful. Kathryn Schulz, The New Yorker, 19 June 2023 His father, a member of the now-defunct Liberal Party, was anti-Europe but not aligned with the political right’s position on the issue, was prudish and chivalrous around women yet also a serial adulterer. Hugh Morris, New York Times, 10 Apr. 2023 What’s with the prudish pearl clutching? Globe Columnist,, 28 Mar. 2023 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1717, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of prudish was in 1717

Dictionary Entries Near prudish

Cite this Entry

“Prudish.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Dec. 2023.

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