a woman who maintains a brothel; madam.
a prostitute.
Archaic. a procuress.

1325–75; Middle English bawde, noun use of Middle French baude, feminine of baud jolly, dissolute < West Germanic; compare Old English bald bold

baud, bawd. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
bawd (bɔːd)
1.  a person who runs a brothel, esp a woman
2.  a prostitute
[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 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

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 M.E. bawde (adj.) "merry, joyous," from O.Fr. baud "gay, licentious" (from Frankish
bald "bold"). 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. O.Fr. baudise "ardor, joy, elation, act of boldness, presumption;" baudie "elation, high spirits," fole baudie "bawdry, shamelessness." The O.Fr. word also is the source of Fr. 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 O.Fr. baudestrote, baudetrot of the same meaning (13c.), and this may be the direct source of M.E. baude-strote. The obsolete word bronstrops "procuress," frequently found in Middleton's comedies, probably is an alt. of baude-strote.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
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.
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