Definition of naughty in English:



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

    ‘you've been a really naughty boy’
    • ‘Once she has got through playing the naughty schoolgirl, she settles down.’
    • ‘He sighed like a parent who now had to punish a naughty child.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Athena's haughty gaze affixed him as if he were a naughty schoolboy.’
    • ‘It is clearly evident that this tragedy has occurred because I was a naughty, naughty child throughout the past year.’
    • ‘I wasn't a very naughty child generally, so this was quite out of character.’
    • ‘They knew interesting tales about when my parents were naughty children and they could identify the faded figures in family photographs.’
    • ‘His first advice to teachers was to understand child psychology before handling naughty children.’
    • ‘You cannot win the hearts of naughty nine-year-olds by drawing cartoons that pacify their politically correct parents.’
    • ‘It's rather like keeping the whole class after school until someone turns in the naughty child.’
    • ‘Like parents forgiving naughty children, they forgive pop culture its badness, because it reminds them of when they were children.’
    • ‘They can be like naughty children, up to mischief one minute, bickering the next.’
    • ‘I feel like the naughty schoolboy who's been called to the headmistress's office.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Sometimes it's like being a school teacher with a multitude of naughty children to look after.’
    • ‘The treaty basically says no one is going to do anything naughty such as industrial espionage.’
    • ‘If your child is naughty, maybe it is the parents that are at fault.’
    • ‘Upset the person in charge and you automatically feel like a naughty child.’
    • ‘We've all been very naughty, dirty children, and must be treated sternly.’
    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’
    • ‘Julie just gave me that naughty, sexy grin of hers.’
    • ‘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 naughty massage ads are in the Adult Classified, and, trust me, the sky is the limit.’
    • ‘An apology beforehand for the use of the naughty word in the image below.’
    • ‘Bruce established his reputation on naughty language and bawdy social commentary: the hallmarks of modern stand-up comedy.’
    • ‘Although pornography is edging closer to mainstream society, its naughty aura means it isn't yet mundane.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The lyrics to this very hummable song are extremely naughty, not smutty or crude, just enjoyably naughty.’
    • ‘And you thought I was going to say something naughty, didn't you?’
    • ‘It looked strangely naughty, a bit like a dirty postcard.’
    • ‘It was used to greatest effect when it makes the actors say rude or naughty things.’
    • ‘She had one of those husky voices that suggested very naughty things just by speaking.’
    • ‘The Code wasn't simply about getting rid of naughty words or translucent costumes.’
    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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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.