Definition of prude in English:


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  • A person who is or claims to be easily shocked by matters relating to sex or nudity.

    ‘the sex was so ambiguous and romantic that none but a prude could find it objectionable’
    • ‘Ms Sheppard said: ‘People tend to think of the Victorians as prudes but this dress is quite revealing.’’
    • ‘He was neither a prude nor a Puritan, but he was scornful of self-indulgence, and though he earned a reputation as the champion of the poor, it was only of the deserving and never of the idle.’
    • ‘Leland Ryken in his book on the Puritans, Worldly Saints, has shown by extensive quotes that the Puritans were anything but prudes about sex.’
    • ‘Almodovar's films and stories are not for all, as I would assume the sexual content and subject matter would be frowned upon by some, but prudes aside this is a great movie.’
    • ‘I am not a prude and I am not shocked by violence or sexuality, but I am disgusted that these directors assume that their own neuroses are traits shared by all humans.’
    puritan, prig, killjoy, moral fanatic, moral zealot, moralist, Mrs Grundy, Grundy, old maid, schoolmarm, pietist, Victorian, priggish person
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/pro͞od/ /prud/


Early 18th century from French, back-formation from prudefemme, feminine of prud'homme ‘good man and true’, from prou ‘worthy’.