Definition of naughty in English:



  • 1(especially of children) disobedient; badly behaved.

    ‘you've been a really naughty boy’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘If your child is naughty, maybe it is the parents that are at fault.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Upset the person in charge and you automatically feel like a naughty child.’
    • ‘Once she has got through playing the naughty schoolgirl, she settles down.’
    • ‘It's rather like keeping the whole class after school until someone turns in the naughty child.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I feel like the naughty schoolboy who's been called to the headmistress's office.’
    • ‘Like parents forgiving naughty children, they forgive pop culture its badness, because it reminds them of when they were children.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It is clearly evident that this tragedy has occurred because I was a naughty, naughty child throughout the past year.’
    • ‘We've all been very naughty, dirty children, and must be treated sternly.’
    • ‘Athena's haughty gaze affixed him as if he were a naughty schoolboy.’
    • ‘Sometimes it's like being a school teacher with a multitude of naughty children to look after.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The treaty basically says no one is going to do anything naughty such as industrial espionage.’
    • ‘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.’
    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 drawings’
    ‘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 was used to greatest effect when it makes the actors say rude or naughty things.’
    • ‘It looked strangely naughty, a bit like a dirty postcard.’
    • ‘The Code wasn't simply about getting rid of naughty words or translucent costumes.’
    • ‘An apology beforehand for the use of the naughty word in the image below.’
    • ‘I admit, that does sound rather naughty, but I don't think she meant it quite like that.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The lyrics to this very hummable song are extremely naughty, not smutty or crude, just enjoyably naughty.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘And you thought I was going to say something naughty, didn't you?’
    • ‘Bruce established his reputation on naughty language and bawdy social commentary: the hallmarks of modern stand-up comedy.’
    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.