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ribald

[rib-uh ld; spelling pronunciation rahy-buh ld] /ˈrɪb əld; spelling pronunciation ˈraɪ bəld/
adjective
1.
vulgar or indecent in speech, language, etc.; coarsely mocking, abusive, or irreverent; scurrilous.
noun
2.
a ribald person.
Origin
1200-1250
1200-50; Middle English ribald, ribaud (noun) < Old French ribau(l)d, equivalent to rib(er) to be licentious (< Old High German rīben to copulate, be in heat, literally, rub) + -au(l)d, -alt < Frankish *-wald a suffix in personal names, derivative of *walden to rule; compare parallel development of -ard
Related forms
ribaldly, adverb
Synonyms
1. indecent, obscene, gross.
Antonyms
1. pure.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for ribald
  • Well, there is little of the ribald humor and catcalls often heard on construction sites.
  • Although it is obliquely ribald now, it is still hilarious.
  • But it must be reported that the ribald note is less rollicking in this third stage of their adventures.
  • It is simply a ribald wallow in the cheapness of an ugly phase of life.
  • Three novellas, in tones ribald to reflective, by a versatile writer.
  • The three quite different novellas that make up the book vary in tone from ribald comedy to quiet reflection.
  • The change from teeth to dentures struck my brother and me as both grave and ribald.
  • When he's relaxed and unguarded, as unguarded as he ever gets, he's ribald and funny.
British Dictionary definitions for ribald

ribald

/ˈrɪbəld/
adjective
1.
coarse, obscene, or licentious, usually in a humorous or mocking way
noun
2.
a ribald person
Derived Forms
ribaldly, adverb
Word Origin
C13: from Old French ribauld, from riber to live licentiously, of Germanic origin
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 ribald
ribald
c.1240, "a rogue, ruffian, rascall, scoundrell, varlet, filthie fellow" [Cotgrave], from O.Fr. ribalt, of uncertain origin, perhaps from riber "be wanton, sleep around," from a Gmc. source (cf. O.H.G. riban "be wanton," lit. "to rub," possibly from the common euphemistic use of "rub" words to mean "have sex"), from P.Gmc. *wribanan, from PIE base *wer- "to turn, bend" (see versus). The adj. is attested from 1500, from the noun. Ribaldry is recorded from c.1300.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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