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[lood] /lud/
adjective, lewder, lewdest.
inclined to, characterized by, or inciting to lust or lechery; lascivious.
obscene or indecent, as language or songs; salacious.
  1. low, ignorant, or vulgar.
  2. base, vile, or wicked, especially of a person.
  3. bad, worthless, or poor, especially of a thing.
Origin of lewd
before 900; Middle English leud, lewed, Old English lǣwede lay, unlearned
Related forms
lewdly, adverb
lewdness, noun
Can be confused Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for lewd
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Neither is ther need we should take any lewd men, for we may have honest men enew, &c.

  • I felt some pricks of shame at this lewd reference to my father.

    Athelstane Ford Allen Upward
  • The old man's smile continues to be lewd and benevolent; he is still not more interested in me than in the bare-armed woman.

  • Their humour was obscene and he was never at a loss for the lewd remark.

    The Trembling of a Leaf William Somerset Maugham
  • Priests, clarkes, and wedded men, Have her lewd pillow prest: Yet she the wonderous prize forsooth Must beare from all the rest.

British Dictionary definitions for lewd


characterized by or intended to excite crude sexual desire; obscene
  1. wicked
  2. ignorant
Derived Forms
lewdly, adverb
lewdness, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old English lǣwde lay, ignorant; see lay³
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
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Word Origin and History for lewd

Old English læwede "nonclerical," of uncertain origin but probably ultimately from Vulgar Latin *laigo-, from Latin laicus (see lay (adj.)). Sense of "unlettered, uneducated" (early 13c.) descended to "coarse, vile, lustful" by late 14c. Related: Lewdly; lewdness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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