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as in vulgar
depicting or referring to sexual matters in a way that is unacceptable in polite society some of the movie's most ribald, and thus funniest, scenes were cut for showing on broadcast television

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How is the word ribald different from other adjectives like it?

Some common synonyms of ribald are coarse, gross, obscene, and vulgar. While all these words mean "offensive to good taste or morals," ribald applies to what is amusingly or picturesquely vulgar or irreverent or mildly indecent.

entertained the campers with ribald folk songs

Where would coarse be a reasonable alternative to ribald?

The synonyms coarse and ribald are sometimes interchangeable, but coarse implies roughness, rudeness, or crudeness of spirit, behavior, or language.

found the coarse humor of coworkers offensive

When can gross be used instead of ribald?

The meanings of gross and ribald largely overlap; however, gross implies extreme coarseness and insensitiveness.

gross eating habits

In what contexts can obscene take the place of ribald?

While in some cases nearly identical to ribald, obscene applies to anything strongly repulsive to the sense of decency and propriety especially in sexual matters.

obscene language not allowed on the air

When might vulgar be a better fit than ribald?

The words vulgar and ribald are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, vulgar often implies boorishness or ill-breeding.

a loud vulgar belch

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Cite this Entry

“Ribald.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/ribald. Accessed 4 Dec. 2022.

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