follow Dictionary.com

Is Tuesday named for a one-handed god?

bawd

[bawd] /bɔd/
noun
1.
a woman who maintains a brothel; madam.
2.
a prostitute.
3.
Archaic. a procuress.
Origin
1325-1375
1325-75; Middle English bawde, noun use of Middle French baude, feminine of baud jolly, dissolute < West Germanic; compare Old English bald bold
Can be confused
baud, bawd.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for bawd
  • They include source materials that exhibit low toxicity, low mobility in the environment, w are near health-bawd levels.
  • Composite samples can be developed bawd on time or flow rate.
  • Such objections shall state specifically the facts and reasons upon which such objections are bawd.
British Dictionary definitions for bawd

bawd

/bɔːd/
noun (archaic)
1.
a person who runs a brothel, esp a woman
2.
a prostitute
Word Origin
C14: shortened from Old French baudetrot, from baude feminine of baud merry + trot one who runs errands; compare Old High German baldbold
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for bawd
n.

a complicated word of uncertain history. First attested late 15c., "lewd person" (of either sex; since c.1700 applied only to women), probably from baude-strote "procurer of prostitutes" (mid-14c.), which may be from Middle English bawde (adj.) "merry, joyous," from Old French baud "gay, licentious" (from Frankish bald "bold" or some such Germanic source). It would not be the first time a word meaning "joyous" had taken on a sexual sense. The sense evolution shading from "bold" to "lewd" is not difficult; cf. Old French baudise "ardor, joy, elation, act of boldness, presumption;" baudie "elation, high spirits," fole baudie "bawdry, shamelessness." The Old French word also is the source of French baudet "donkey," in Picardy dialect "loose woman."

The second element in baude-strote would be trot "one who runs errands," or Germanic *strutt (see strut). But OED doubts all this. There was an Old French baudestrote, baudetrot of the same meaning (13c.), and this may be the direct source of Middle English baude-strote. The obsolete word bronstrops "procuress," frequently found in Middleton's comedies, probably is an alteration of baude-strote.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for bawd

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for bawd

10
11
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with bawd

Nearby words for bawd