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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 lewdness
  • Individuals convicted of lewdness, at whatever level, fall squarely within this category.
  • The defendant, thirty-one years of age at the time of trial, was first convicted of open and gross lewdness at the age of sixteen.
British Dictionary definitions for lewdness


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 lewdness



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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lewdness in the Bible

(Acts 18:14), villany or wickedness, not lewdness in the modern sense of the word. The word "lewd" is from the Saxon, and means properly "ignorant," "unlearned," and hence low, vicious (Acts 17:5).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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