Meaning of naughty in English:


Pronunciation /ˈnɔːti/

See synonyms for naughty

Translate naughty into Spanish

adjectiveadjective naughtier, adjective naughtiest

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

    ‘you've been a really naughty boy’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Like parents forgiving naughty children, they forgive pop culture its badness, because it reminds them of when they were children.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It is clearly evident that this tragedy has occurred because I was a naughty, naughty child throughout the past year.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘We've all been very naughty, dirty children, and must be treated sternly.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I feel like the naughty schoolboy who's been called to the headmistress's office.’
    • ‘Once she has got through playing the naughty schoolgirl, she settles down.’
    • ‘The treaty basically says no one is going to do anything naughty such as industrial espionage.’
    • ‘You cannot win the hearts of naughty nine-year-olds by drawing cartoons that pacify their politically correct parents.’
    • ‘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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  • 2 informal Mildly rude or indecent, typically because related to sex.

    • ‘naughty goings-on’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Bruce established his reputation on naughty language and bawdy social commentary: the hallmarks of modern stand-up comedy.’
    • ‘She had one of those husky voices that suggested very naughty things just by speaking.’
    • ‘It looked strangely naughty, a bit like a dirty postcard.’
    • ‘Although pornography is edging closer to mainstream society, its naughty aura means it isn't yet mundane.’
    • ‘The naughty massage ads are in the Adult Classified, and, trust me, the sky is the limit.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘And you thought I was going to say something naughty, didn't you?’
    • ‘Julie just gave me that naughty, sexy grin of hers.’
    • ‘I admit, that does sound rather naughty, but I don't think she meant it quite like that.’
    • ‘An apology beforehand for the use of the naughty word in the image below.’
    • ‘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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  • 3 archaic 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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    the naughty step
    • 1British informal 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’
      • ‘Kemal recently had to sit on the naughty step for putting a toilet brush into Roberto's cardboard box.’
      • ‘Parenting groups have taken issue with the suitability of the naughty step or "time out" method to discipline children.’
      • ‘The naughty step, is a place of reflection where the child realises they've done something wrong.’
      • ‘In England, when kids are naughty, they get sent to sit on the naughty step.’
      • ‘The basic principle of having ' time out ' is fine, and the naughty step is a symbol of parents taking back authority.’
      • ‘As for the naughty step, that can be just as damaging as a smack if it is used to humiliate a child. "’
      • ‘The apology that always follows the naughty step technique is a complete waste of time.’
      • ‘The naughty step reinforces a boundary, but you need common sense as to where you draw it and it needs to change.’
      • ‘I think, the naughty step is being overused.’
      • ‘In her monthly column, Jennie Bristow sends today's parenting fads and panics to the naughty step.’
      1. 1.1A situation of public disgrace.
        ‘the bosses of the unions found themselves on the naughty step’
        • ‘Oh, my, then the whole British internet has to go and sit on the naughty step.’
        • ‘In her monthly guide to subversive parenting, Jennie Bristow sends today's parenting fads and panics to the naughty step.’
        • ‘As a nation, we're heading for the naughty step.’
        • ‘Those scandal-ridden politicians should get on the naughty step.’
        • ‘Unless Anna can work out what's going on in two minutes, it's off to 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.’
        • ‘Who in the office should be sitting on the naughty step?’
        • ‘My friend Mick should be on the naughty step too.’
        • ‘They were discussing the referee's shortcomings on what one correspondent dubbed "the naughty step".’


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.