rib·​ald·​ry | \ ˈri-bəl-drē How to pronounce ribaldry (audio) also ˈrī- \
plural ribaldries

Definition of ribaldry

1 : a ribald quality or element
2a : ribald language or humor
b : an instance of ribald language or humor

Examples of ribaldry in a Sentence

there's a ribaldry in the works of Chaucer that generations of students of English literature have heartily enjoyed
Recent Examples on the Web These sections contain startling revelations about tribal culture, native ribaldry, and a social outcast’s mad nerve. Armond White, National Review, 18 Dec. 2020 The young woman disappeared in the ribaldry, everyone smelling of perfume and drowning one another out in their hysterical good time. David Rabe, The New Yorker, 5 Oct. 2020 The horses pick their fresh ways delicately through the dewy country, the brightness of sunrise has not yet fallen from the air, the sky is blue and all-covering, and the cowboys are full of jokes and morning ribaldries. Larry Mcmurtry, Harper's magazine, 28 Oct. 2019 What makes this a matter of more than mere ribaldry is that the baristas have unlimbered heavy constitutional artillery. George Will, National Review, 4 Oct. 2017 A trio of troublemaking nuns (Aubrey Plaza, Kate Micucci and Alison Brie) soon complicate matters, resulting in some hilarious, blasphemous ribaldry. OregonLive.com, 5 July 2017 Imagine Ludlam’s Ridiculous Theatrical Company without the cross-dressing ribaldry. Charles Mcnulty, latimes.com, 15 May 2017 In the end, the ribaldry seemed to stay all in good fun, revelers reported. Victor Mather, New York Times, 23 Feb. 2016 See More

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

First Known Use of ribaldry

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Learn More About ribaldry

Time Traveler for ribaldry

Time Traveler

The first known use of ribaldry was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near ribaldry




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for ribaldry

Cite this Entry

“Ribaldry.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ribaldry. Accessed 28 Jun. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon


Test Your Vocabulary

Great Words for Scrabble

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!