Share this entry

Share this page

ribald

Line breaks: rib¦ald
Pronunciation: /ˈrɪb(ə)ld
 
, ˈrʌɪbɔːld
 
/

Definition of ribald in English:

adjective

Referring to sexual matters in an amusingly rude or irreverent way: a ribald comment
More example sentences
  • Stories rich in erotic or scatological suggestion can elicit ribald laughter as well.
  • When is a bawdy, ribald tale of a wanton wench and her very naughty sexual adventures as boring as a trip to the Field Museum to watch dinosaur bones fossilize?
  • Not so much among the Catholic faithful and people favorably disposed to the Church, but among the general public the positions and pronouncements of bishops will for years to come be met with ribald comments about clerics and little boys.
Synonyms
informal blue, raunchy
British informal fruity, near the knuckle, saucy
North American informal gamy
euphemistic adult

Origin

Middle English (as a noun denoting a lowly retainer or a licentious or irreverent person): from Old French ribauld, from riber 'indulge in licentious pleasures', from a Germanic base meaning 'prostitute'.

More
  • This was first used as a noun for a ‘lowly retainer’ or a ‘licentious or irreverent person’. It comes from Old French ribauld, from riber ‘indulge in licentious pleasures’, from a Germanic base meaning ‘prostitute’. It became an adjective in the early 16th century.

Words that rhyme with ribald

untroubledunruffled

Definition of ribald in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day emulous
Pronunciation: ˈɛmjʊləs
adjective
seeking to emulate someone or something