Definition of naughty in English:


Line breaks: naughty
Pronunciation: /ˈnɔːti

adjective (naughtier, naughtiest)

  • 1(Especially of a child) badly behaved; disobedient: you’ve been a really naughty boy
    More example sentences
    • Sometimes it's like being a school teacher with a multitude of naughty children to look after.
    • I wasn't a very naughty child generally, so this was quite out of character.
    • If your child is naughty, maybe it is the parents that are at fault.


the naughty step

British informal
A place where a child is sent after misbehaving in order to reflect on their actions.
More example sentences
  • Kemal recently had to sit on the naughty step for putting a toilet brush into Roberto's cardboard box.
  • Parenting groups have taken issue with the suitability of the naughty step or "time out" method to discipline children.
  • The naughty step, is a place of reflection where the child realises they've done something wrong.
A situation of public disgrace: the bosses of the unions found themselves on the naughty step
More example sentences
  • Oh, my, then the whole British internet has to go and sit on the naughty step.
  • In her monthly guide to subversive parenting, Jennie Bristow sends today's parenting fads and panics to the naughty step.
  • As a nation, we're heading for the naughty step.



More example sentences
  • Drinking coffee at night still seems naughtily bohemian in this city, and there's an undercurrent of guilty complicity in the air.
  • ‘You're right,’ Aidan agreed and smiled rather naughtily.
  • Lynn winks naughtily at him, and Clark's smile broadens.


More example sentences
  • She has the knack of bringing out the naughtiness in people…
  • There's an awful lot of rude words in it, a lot of swearing, a lot of naughtiness.
  • He had a very highly developed sense of humour and naughtiness.


late Middle English: from naught + -y1. The earliest recorded sense was 'possessing nothing'; the sense 'wicked' also dates from late Middle English, and gave rise to the current senses.

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Word of the day coloratura
Pronunciation: ˌkɒlərəˈtjʊərə
elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody