rib·​ald | \ ˈri-bəld also ˈri-ˌbȯld How to pronounce ribald (audio) , ˈrī-ˌbȯld\

Definition of ribald

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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



Definition of ribald (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of ribald in a Sentence


some of the movie's most ribald, and thus funniest, scenes were cut for showing on broadcast television a ribald tale rife with double entendres and racy innuendo

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Haywood discussed her campaign on a recent afternoon at her two-story brick home on the South Side of Chicago, showing a ribald sense of humor and a gift for gab. Malika Andrews, New York Times, "A Relative Wages Jack Johnson’s Biggest Fight: To Clear His Name," 8 May 2018 Behind me groups of men broke into ribald ballads that honor their contrade. Dwight Garner, New York Times, "The Palio di Siena: A Survivor’s Tale," 16 Apr. 2018 Unlike so many previous films that exploited the topic for ribald comedy, this effort adopts a more serious, at times even mournful tone. Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Permission': Film Review," 6 Feb. 2018 There wasn’t a Jewish guy and an Italian guy and a guy from Alabama, all trading faintly ribald stories, while making the world safe for democracy. Mick Lasalle, San Francisco Chronicle, "Why doesn’t Steven Spielberg trust his audience?," 31 Jan. 2018 Krewe du Vieux, which rolls Saturday, Jan. 27, at 6:30 p.m., is best known for its ribald satire of public figures and current events. Richard Campanella, NOLA.com, "Krewe du Vieux 2018: Take a virtual tour of the route with King Richard Campanella," 23 Jan. 2018 One of the big reasons the fest was bursting at the seams was the appearance of Post Malone, a rising star who blends country crooning with ribald rap. Doug Maccash, NOLA.com, "Rapper Post Malone packs 'em in at Voodoo Fest 2017," 30 Oct. 2017 The house lights weren’t fully dimmed for a subdued opening set by Kansas City’s Longer Days, a placid beginning to a ribald evening. By Bill Brownlee, kansascity, "RL Grime headlines the Seasons Music Festival at the Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland," 5 Aug. 2017 Other yuks fall into the category of mildly naughty Dad Jokes, and include a ribald misinterpretation of the word horologist. Michael O'sullivan, The Denver Post, "“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales”: Long, loud and overstimulating," 26 May 2017

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.

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First Known Use of ribald


circa 1500, in the meaning defined at sense 1


13th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for 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

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Time Traveler for ribald

The first known use of ribald was in the 13th century

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English Language Learners Definition of ribald

formal : referring to sex in a rude but amusing way

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More from Merriam-Webster on ribald

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ribald

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ribald

Spanish Central: Translation of ribald

Nglish: Translation of ribald for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ribald for Arabic Speakers

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