Definition of rude in English:



  • 1Offensively impolite or bad-mannered.

    ‘she had been rude to her boss’
    ‘he is a rude and arrogant bully’
    • ‘It may have been rude of me to ask, but because of reasons of my own, I had to know.’
    • ‘I suppose it would be rude of me to let them part without words passing between us.’
    • ‘I'd like to apologise to anyone who I've been rude to or offended in the past - because I'm sure there's lots of them out there.’
    • ‘It was rude of Amy to ignore him, but she didn't mean to.’
    • ‘‘It was still awfully rude of you,’ Elizabeth replied bluntly.’
    • ‘He was rude to her and she replied with an equally vigorous riposte.’
    • ‘It was rude of them to talk and leave him just standing there.’
    • ‘It was rather rude of me to try and force your emotions out of you.’
    • ‘How rude of me, rambling on about my brother when you don't even know my name!’
    • ‘It would have been rude to refuse the offer, even though the bar's whiskey would undoubtedly fall short of his usual standards.’
    • ‘She dismissed the idea almost instantly: Lauren had been rude to her from the start, she was the one who should apologise.’
    • ‘It is such short notice and it is awfully rude of me to inform you of this just now.’
    • ‘He knew that he had been rude to her, but it wasn't really on purpose.’
    • ‘Noise, drunkenness, bad manners, rude and discourteous conduct and reckless driving will all raise their ugly heads, whatever we do.’
    • ‘I know it was rude of me to interrupt you while you were speaking.’
    • ‘If Cate believed in something strongly enough to confront me about it, it would be rude of me not to consider it fairly.’
    • ‘It is rude of them to be asking you about your religion.’
    • ‘I have also learned from other patients that it was not the first time the receptionist had been rude to patients.’
    • ‘She instantly felt guilty for the times she had been rude to him.’
    • ‘When I was in his class two years ago he was always very rude to me and he has also been rude to me over the Internet.’
    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
    View synonyms
  • 2Referring to a taboo subject such as sex in a way considered embarrassing or offensive.

    ‘Graham giggled at every rude joke’
    • ‘I have repeatedly had cars flashing their lights at me or hooting their horns and giving very rude gestures.’
    • ‘I get annoyed when pedestrians walk five or six astride and cars have to swerve to avoid hitting them, and then the driver still gets a rude gesture or threat from these pedestrians.’
    • ‘But then I glanced behind me and saw her making rude hand gestures at my back.’
    • ‘West pulled faces and made rude gestures at the press as he stood in the dock.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘But when the woman, who was in in her 20s, returned she verbally abused Ms Young, made rude gestures at her and then drove off.’
    • ‘The ‘okay’ sign (touching your finger to your thumb) is considered a rude gesture in Peru.’
    • ‘I was once on a crowded Muni bus, wherein someone made a loud, rude, and embarrassing sound.’
    • ‘Expect lots of rude jokes, political provocation, and more than a few references that would offend if they weren't so funny.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, rude gestures also create the impression that other anti-social behaviours are somehow acceptable.’
    • ‘There would be no rude hand gestures, no cross words.’
    • ‘With a few rude noises and gestures, the boys walked away.’
    • ‘Advertisers of pornographic content are prohibited from using rude words in the subject line of sexually explicit images.’
    • ‘He made a number of rude gestures in their direction and shouted obscenities at them.’
    • ‘As the owner banged on the window, one of the thieves hot-wired the car, whilst the other made a rude gesture.’
    • ‘Sex to the adults of my youth was embarrassing, rude or funny.’
    • ‘David drove insanely fast, flying by honking cars, rude gestures and angry cries from various drivers on the road.’
    • ‘You shouldn't be making rude gestures to people!’
    • ‘She smiled at him gently and he made a very rude gesture to her.’
    • ‘Some of the jokes were rude, others corny, and some a tad funny.’
    vulgar, coarse, smutty, dirty, filthy, crude, lewd, obscene, offensive, indelicate, improper, indecorous, salacious, off colour, tasteless, in bad taste
    View synonyms
  • 3[attributive] Having a startling abruptness.

    ‘the war came as a very 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.’
    • ‘Senior staff, classroom teachers, governors and parents have all had a rude awakening since James' arrival, me included.’
    • ‘A rude awakening, however, occurred on July 16th, 1936.’
    • ‘The sharp downturn in the US economy has brought a rude awakening to many in the IT sector.’
    • ‘But we were in for a rude awakening when a savage thunder and lightning storm struck right over the stadium during the match.’
    • ‘After a summer of doing just about anything on your own time, the alarm bell announcing the first day of school can be a rude awakening.’
    • ‘But after their stay in that sun-kissed paradise they got a rude awakening on heading out into the Atlantic, which was to prove stormy and rough.’
    • ‘But the dream, like all others, became harsh reality with a rude awakening.’
    • ‘Failure of immediate action may lead to a rude awakening.’
    • ‘This rude awakening came from underestimating the non-designer's understanding of design principals.’
    • ‘Before dawn broke on Tuesday, drug crime suspects had a rude awakening as officers with battering rams smashed down doors around the town in an operation to target dealers.’
    • ‘If the cost of repairing the damage could be laid squarely at the door of those people, it would be a rude awakening and remind them of their parental responsibilities.’
    • ‘Well let's just say the happy couple is about to get a rude awakening.’
    • ‘A three-year courtship enabled them to paint realistic portraits of one another, lessening the chances of a rude awakening after marriage.’
    • ‘Delude ourselves into that kind of thinking however and a rude awakening will await us.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It wasn't just the rude awakening which stunned residents, but the fact that the road had been resurfaced just days before, following years of campaigning by the parish council.’
    • ‘The next three years will see a rude awakening for Baikal.’
    • ‘For the intellectuals and the urban lower middle class, the new situation was a rude awakening of disillusionment and broken promises.’
    • ‘But my first round of mid-terms brought a rude awakening: three C's!’
    abrupt, sudden, sharp, startling
    View synonyms
  • 4British [attributive] Vigorous or hearty.

    ‘Isabel had always been in rude health’
    • ‘The horse has bounced back to rude health lately, winning at Ayr and Pontefract in the style of a rejuvenated character.’
    • ‘Bob Woodhouse, who trains at Welburn near Malton, has his horses in rude health at present and a double could come his way from two of his recent winners.’
    • ‘This year has found the pop group in rude health, building on the momentum of their self-titled debut album selling 270,000 copies.’
    • ‘Despite what major label accountants would have you believe, rock 'n' roll is in a state of rude health at the moment.’
    • ‘This is a well sequenced selection of top quality grooves that takes the pulse of 21st century African roots music and finds it to be in surprisingly rude health.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He is in such rude health at present that it is difficult to ignore his claims.’
    • ‘Whilst Charlton's finances are in rude health, matters on the field took a turn for the worse as they were beaten by a Crystal Palace reserve side.’
    • ‘The five-year-old is in rude health at present, as she showed when scoring handsomely at Ayr on her latest start.’
    • ‘The vast media conglomerates looking to take over the online music market are in rude health.’
    • ‘George Hodgson enjoyed rude health until he died in 1715 at the age of 94.’
    • ‘Sue Smith is another trainer who has her horses in rude health.’
    • ‘A big jump in new database license sales shows a company in rude health.’
    • ‘In fact, we see plenty of evidence to support the idea that the TV and radio broadcast model is in rude health, and is becoming more highly valued than ever.’
    • ‘Ten years on, and the footballer's in rude health and definitely on form.’
    • ‘Contrary to the doleful prophecies of superannuated Jeremiahs, pop is in rude health.’
    • ‘For the moment, however, Wood is in rude health and enjoying a tour he sees as a precursor to greater things ahead.’
    • ‘But investor confidence is not in rude health, and companies that are not whiter than white in their accountancy practices are being downgraded by the market.’
    • ‘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.’
  • 5dated Roughly made or done; lacking sophistication.

    ‘a rude coffin’
    • ‘He seemed rude and rough like a devil on the outside, but I guess he was a real angel in the inside.’
    • ‘Mehmet steals a truck and sets out on the road with Berzan's rude coffin in the back.’
    primitive, crude, rudimentary, rough, rough-hewn, rough and ready, simple, basic, makeshift
    View synonyms
    1. 5.1archaic Ignorant and uneducated.
      ‘the new religion was first promulgated by rude men’
      ignorant, unenlightened, uneducated, unschooled, untutored, illiterate, unlettered, unlearned, unscholarly, unread, uninformed, backward, simple
      View synonyms


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