lewd

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English leud, leued, lewed (unlearned, lay, lascivious), from Old English lǣwede (unlearned, ignorant, lay), of obscure origin; most likely a derivative of the past participle of lǣwan (to reveal, betray) in the sense of "exposed as being unlearned" or "easily betrayed, clueless", from Proto-Germanic *lēwijaną (to betray), from Proto-Germanic *lēwą (an opportunity, cause), from Proto-Indo-European *lēw- (to leave). Cognate with Old High German gilāen, firlāen (to betray), Gothic 𐌲𐌰𐌻𐌴𐍅𐌾𐌰𐌽 (galēwjan, to give over, betray), Gothic 𐌻𐌴𐍅 (lēw), 𐌻𐌴𐍅𐌰 (lēwa, an opportunity, cause).

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

lewd (comparative lewder, superlative lewdest)

  1. Lascivious, sexually promiscuous, rude.
  2. (obsolete) Lay; not clerical.
    • Sir J. Davies
      So these great clerks their little wisdom show / To mock the lewd, as learn'd in this as they.
  3. (obsolete) Uneducated.
  4. (obsolete) Vulgar, common; typical of the lower orders.
    • Bible, Acts xvii. 5.
      But the Jews, which believed not, [] took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, [] and assaulted the house of Jason.
    • Southey
      Too lewd to work, and ready for any kind of mischief.
  5. (obsolete) Base, vile, reprehensible.

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