Definition of rude in English:

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Pronunciation: /ruːd/


1Offensively impolite or bad-mannered: she had been rude to her boss he is a rude and arrogant bully
More example sentences
  • It is such short notice and it is awfully rude of me to inform you of this just now.
  • I have also learned from other patients that it was not the first time the receptionist had been rude to patients.
  • Noise, drunkenness, bad manners, rude and discourteous conduct and reckless driving will all raise their ugly heads, whatever we do.
ill-mannered, bad-mannered, impolite, discourteous, impertinent, insolent, impudent, cheeky, audacious, presumptuous, uncivil, disrespectful, unmannerly, ill-bred, churlish, crass, curt, brusque, blunt, ungracious, graceless, brash, unpleasant, disagreeable, offhand, short, sharp;
offensive, insulting, derogatory, disparaging, abusive;
tactless, undiplomatic, uncomplimentary, uncharitable, unchivalrous, ungallant, ungentlemanly, unladylike
archaic malapert, contumelious
rare underbred, mannerless
2Referring to a taboo subject such as sex in a way considered embarrassing or offensive: Graham giggled at every rude joke
More example sentences
  • Advertisers of pornographic content are prohibited from using rude words in the subject line of sexually explicit images.
  • A couple, as well as a family of six, were subjected to these rude actions and many onlookers were shocked and disgusted at what they witnessed.
  • I was once on a crowded Muni bus, wherein someone made a loud, rude, and embarrassing sound.
vulgar, coarse, smutty, dirty, filthy, crude, lewd, obscene, offensive, indelicate, improper, indecorous, salacious, off colour, tasteless, in bad taste;
risqué, naughty, ribald, bawdy, racy, broad, spicy, colourful, suggestive
informal blue, raunchy, nudge-nudge
British informal fruity, near the knuckle, saucy
North American informal gamy
euphemistic adult
3 [attributive] Having a startling abruptness: the war came as a very rude awakening
More example sentences
  • But the dream, like all others, became harsh reality with a rude awakening.
  • For many it will be a rude awakening and emphasise the need for a radical rethink before soccer's loss is another gain for a different form of sport, or worse still the sedentary armchair variety.
  • It has been a singularly rude awakening for France and the country has embarked on a deep, soul-searching, introspection on how things could have gone so horribly wrong.
abrupt, sudden, sharp, startling;
unpleasant, disagreeable, nasty, harsh
4 [attributive] chiefly British Vigorous or hearty: Isabel had always been in rude health
More example sentences
  • It wasn't long before I caught a salmon - a fat fresh hen fish of about seven kilos, in such rude health that it took me the best part of half an hour to get it to the bank.
  • A work that details every expression of lack of vigour in the different organs, limbs and brain of the body politic, therefore, paradoxically leaves a general impression of rude health.
  • The horse has bounced back to rude health lately, winning at Ayr and Pontefract in the style of a rejuvenated character.
5 dated Roughly made or done; lacking sophistication: a rude coffin
More example sentences
  • Mehmet steals a truck and sets out on the road with Berzan's rude coffin in the back.
  • He seemed rude and rough like a devil on the outside, but I guess he was a real angel in the inside.
primitive, crude, rudimentary, rough, rough-hewn, rough and ready, simple, basic, makeshift
5.1 archaic Ignorant and uneducated: the new religion was first promulgated by rude men



Example sentences
  • The girls have a directness that borders on rudery.
  • York loves rudery and ruddy humour, shows best enjoyed by stags and hens on a night's curry and booze.
  • She told them in no uncertain terms that she'd never seen such downright ignorance and rudery.


Middle English (in sense 5, also 'uncultured'): from Old French, from Latin rudis 'unwrought' (referring to handicraft), figuratively 'uncultivated'; related to rudus 'broken stone'.

  • Many a schoolchild has sniggered at old books or hymns that mention ‘rude dwellings’. Especially for children, the dominant sense of rude is now ‘referring to a subject such as sex in an embarrassing or offensive way’, yet this is a recent development, being recorded only from the early 1960s, a development of an old sense ‘bad-mannered, rough’. The word came via Old French from Latin rudis, ‘unfinished, roughly made, uncultivated’, and in medieval times meant ‘uneducated, ignorant, uncultivated’, and ‘roughly made’ as well as ‘impolite’. See also mechanical. In Jamaica a rude boy is a poor, lawless urban youth. The expression became more widely known in the late 1970s with the popularity of bands playing ‘ska’ (a kind of speeded-up reggae) many of whose songs mentioned rude boys.

Words that rhyme with rude

allude, brood, collude, conclude, crude, delude, dude, elude, étude, exclude, extrude, exude, feud, food, illude, include, intrude, Jude, lewd, mood, nude, obtrude, occlude, Oudh, preclude, protrude, prude, pseud, pultrude, rood, seclude, shrewd, snood, transude, unglued, unsubdued, who'd, you'd

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