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ribald

adjective rib·ald \ ˈri-bəld also ˈri-ˌbȯld , ˈrī-ˌbȯld \
Updated on: 19 Nov 2017

Definition of ribald

1 : marked by coarseness or lewdness : crude, offensive
  • ribald language
  • ribald humor
2 : characterized by or using coarse, indecent humor
  • a ribald memoir/song

Examples of ribald in a Sentence

  1. some of the movie's most ribald, and thus funniest, scenes were cut for showing on broadcast television

  2. a ribald tale rife with double entendres and racy innuendo

Recent Examples of ribald from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of ribald

Middle English ribaud person of low status, scoundrel, lecher, from Anglo-French, from Old French riber to be debauched, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German rīban to be in heat, copulate, literally, to rub

Synonym Discussion of ribald

coarse, vulgar, gross, obscene, ribald mean offensive to good taste or morals. coarse implies roughness, rudeness, or crudeness of spirit, behavior, or language.
    • found the coarse humor of coworkers offensive
vulgar often implies boorishness or ill-breeding.
    • a loud vulgar belch
gross implies extreme coarseness and insensitiveness.
    • gross eating habits
obscene applies to anything strongly repulsive to the sense of decency and propriety especially in sexual matters.
    • obscene language not allowed on the air
ribald applies to what is amusingly or picturesquely vulgar or irreverent or mildly indecent.
    • entertained the campers with ribald folk songs

2

ribald

noun rib·ald \ ˈri-bəld also ˈri-ˌbȯld , ˈrī-ˌbȯld \

Definition of ribald

archaic
: a person coarse or lewd in appearance, speech, writing, or thought : a ribald person

First Known Use of ribald

13th century


RIBALD Defined for English Language Learners

ribald

adjective

Definition of ribald for English Language Learners

  • : referring to sex in a rude but amusing way



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