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[prood] /prud/
a person who is excessively proper or modest in speech, conduct, dress, etc.
Origin of prude
1695-1705; < French prude a prude (noun), prudish (adj.), short for prudefemme, Old French prodefeme worthy or respectable woman. See proud, feme
Related forms
prudelike, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for prude
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • And later, when she'd been just a little stiff with him, Quillan had had the nerve to tell her not to be a prude, doll!

    Legacy James H Schmitz
  • And apparently the girl was far from being a prude or a snob.

    A Soldier of the Legion C. N. Williamson
  • He wants me to listen to naughty bits of fun out of them, but I will not, and then he calls me a prude, and gets angry.

  • Oh, I dare say they'd make a good team,—one's a prude and the other a prig.

    Under Fire Charles King
  • There is not any prude, though ever so high bred, hath a more sanctifyd Look, with a more mischievous Heart.

British Dictionary definitions for prude


a person who affects or shows an excessively modest, prim, or proper attitude, esp regarding sex
Derived Forms
prudish, adjective
prudishly, adverb
prudishness, prudery, noun
Word Origin
C18: from French, from prudefemme, from Old French prode femme respectable woman; see proud
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 prude

1704, "woman who affects or upholds modesty in a degree considered excessive," from French prude "excessively prim or demure woman," first recorded in Molière. Perhaps a false back-formation or an ellipsis of preudefemme "a discreet, modest woman," from Old French prodefame "noblewoman, gentlewoman; wife, consort," fem. equivalent of prudhomme "a brave man" (see proud); or perhaps a direct noun use of the French adjective prude "prudish," from Old French prude, prode, preude "good, virtuous, modest," a feminine form of the adjective preux. Also occasionally as an adjective in English 18c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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