Definition of naughty in English:

naughty

adjective

  • 1(especially of a child) badly behaved; disobedient.

    ‘you've been a really naughty boy’
    • ‘There is still a belief that it is acceptable to speed, and that speed cameras are naughty wicked things set up by the government, rather than an attempt to reduce road deaths and injuries.’
    • ‘Sometimes it's like being a school teacher with a multitude of naughty children to look after.’
    • ‘A campaign has been launched in some newspapers to attempt to outlaw any right of parents ever to lay a finger on their naughty children.’
    • ‘It is clearly evident that this tragedy has occurred because I was a naughty, naughty child throughout the past year.’
    • ‘The treaty basically says no one is going to do anything naughty such as industrial espionage.’
    • ‘We've all been very naughty, dirty children, and must be treated sternly.’
    • ‘I feel like the naughty schoolboy who's been called to the headmistress's office.’
    • ‘I wasn't a very naughty child generally, so this was quite out of character.’
    • ‘She had a funny look on her face, like a naughty child who's just been found stealing cookies from the cookie jar before dinner.’
    • ‘Upset the person in charge and you automatically feel like a naughty child.’
    • ‘It's rather like keeping the whole class after school until someone turns in the naughty child.’
    • ‘He sighed like a parent who now had to punish a naughty child.’
    • ‘They can be like naughty children, up to mischief one minute, bickering the next.’
    • ‘Athena's haughty gaze affixed him as if he were a naughty schoolboy.’
    • ‘Like parents forgiving naughty children, they forgive pop culture its badness, because it reminds them of when they were children.’
    • ‘His first advice to teachers was to understand child psychology before handling naughty children.’
    • ‘Once she has got through playing the naughty schoolgirl, she settles down.’
    • ‘They knew interesting tales about when my parents were naughty children and they could identify the faded figures in family photographs.’
    • ‘If your child is naughty, maybe it is the parents that are at fault.’
    • ‘You cannot win the hearts of naughty nine-year-olds by drawing cartoons that pacify their politically correct parents.’
    disobedient, unruly, wayward, errant, badly behaved, disorderly, undisciplined, delinquent, troublesome, rebellious, defiant, mutinous, recalcitrant, refractory, uncooperative, non-compliant, wilful, unbiddable, intractable, ungovernable, unmanageable, uncontrollable, obstreperous, awkward, difficult, perverse, contrary
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  • 2informal Mildly rude or indecent, typically because related to sex.

    ‘naughty goings-on’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It looked strangely naughty, a bit like a dirty postcard.’
    • ‘The lyrics to this very hummable song are extremely naughty, not smutty or crude, just enjoyably naughty.’
    • ‘The Code wasn't simply about getting rid of naughty words or translucent costumes.’
    • ‘And you thought I was going to say something naughty, didn't you?’
    • ‘I admit, that does sound rather naughty, but I don't think she meant it quite like that.’
    • ‘The two would dance ‘suggestively’ and end their naughty escapade with a full kiss on the lips for all the boys to think about later that night.’
    • ‘She had one of those husky voices that suggested very naughty things just by speaking.’
    • ‘Although pornography is edging closer to mainstream society, its naughty aura means it isn't yet mundane.’
    • ‘It was used to greatest effect when it makes the actors say rude or naughty things.’
    • ‘Bruce established his reputation on naughty language and bawdy social commentary: the hallmarks of modern stand-up comedy.’
    • ‘An apology beforehand for the use of the naughty word in the image below.’
    • ‘Julie just gave me that naughty, sexy grin of hers.’
    • ‘The naughty massage ads are in the Adult Classified, and, trust me, the sky is the limit.’
    indecent, risqué, rude, racy, ribald, bawdy, broad, spicy, suggestive, titillating, improper, indelicate, indecorous, off colour
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  • 3archaic Wicked.

    • ‘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, bad, misbehaved, misbehaving, wayward, defiant, unruly, insubordinate, wilful, self-willed, delinquent, undisciplined, unmanageable, uncontrollable, ungovernable, unbiddable, disorderly, disruptive, mutinous, fractious, refractory, recalcitrant, errant, wild, wicked, obstreperous, difficult, troublesome, awkward, contrary, perverse, attention-seeking, exasperating, incorrigible
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Phrases

  • the naughty step

    • 1informal A place where a child is sent after misbehaving in order to reflect on their actions.

      ‘whenever I did something bad, my uncle would make me sit in the naughty corner’
      • ‘In England, when kids are naughty, they get sent to sit on the naughty step.’
      • ‘As for the naughty step, that can be just as damaging as a smack if it is used to humiliate a child. "’
      • ‘In her monthly column, Jennie Bristow sends today's parenting fads and panics to the naughty step.’
      • ‘The naughty step, is a place of reflection where the child realises they've done something wrong.’
      • ‘The apology that always follows the naughty step technique is a complete waste of time.’
      • ‘Parenting groups have taken issue with the suitability of the naughty step or "time out" method to discipline children.’
      • ‘I think, the naughty step is being overused.’
      • ‘The naughty step reinforces a boundary, but you need common sense as to where you draw it and it needs to change.’
      • ‘The basic principle of having ' time out ' is fine, and the naughty step is a symbol of parents taking back authority.’
      • ‘Kemal recently had to sit on the naughty step for putting a toilet brush into Roberto's cardboard box.’
      1. 1.1A situation of public disgrace.
        ‘the bosses of the unions found themselves on the naughty step’
        • ‘My friend Mick should be on the naughty step too.’
        • ‘As a nation, we're heading for the naughty step.’
        • ‘They were discussing the referee's shortcomings on what one correspondent dubbed "the naughty step".’
        • ‘I'd just like to point out that "sitting on the naughty step" has the greatest euphemism potential I've encountered in a long time.’
        • ‘In her monthly guide to subversive parenting, Jennie Bristow sends today's parenting fads and panics to the naughty step.’
        • ‘Unless Anna can work out what's going on in two minutes, it's off to the naughty step.’
        • ‘Oh, my, then the whole British internet has to go and sit on the naughty step.’
        • ‘Those scandal-ridden politicians should get on the naughty step.’
        • ‘Who in the office should be sitting on the naughty step?’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

naughty

/ˈnɔːti/