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Syllabification: naugh·ty
Pronunciation: /ˈnôdē

Definition of naughty in English:

adjective (naughtier, naughtiest)

1(Especially of children) disobedient; badly behaved: 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.
2 informal Mildly rude or indecent, typically because related to sex: naughty drawings naughty goings-on
More example sentences
  • It was used to greatest effect when it makes the actors say rude or naughty things.
  • Explicit language makes a lot of us squirm because it's chock full of taboos: It's crude, it's naughty, it's raunchy, its real.
  • The lyrics to this very hummable song are extremely naughty, not smutty or crude, just enjoyably naughty.
3 archaic Wicked.
Example sentences
  • The Future Bible Heroes' new album is in very real danger of being a good deed in a naughty world, as this interview suggests.
badly behaved, disobedient, ill-behaved, bad, misbehaved, misbehaving, wayward, defiant, unruly, insubordinate, willful, delinquent, undisciplined, uncontrollable, ill-mannered, ungovernable, unbiddable, disorderly, disruptive, fractious, recalcitrant, wild, wicked, obstreperous, difficult, troublesome, awkward, contrary, perverse, incorrigible;
mischievous, playful, impish, roguish, rascally
informal bratty
formal refractory


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.



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.


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.

Definition of naughty in:

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