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From Middle English noughti, naughty (evil, immoral, wicked; bungling, ineffectual; in want, needy; evil or hostile person) [and other forms],[1] from nought (evil, immoral; of poor quality, worthless; unworthy; inappropriate, unsuitable; impotent, powerless, weak; useless; of an agreement, decree, or obligation: null, void; trivial; diseased)[2] + -ī̆ (suffix forming adjectives).[3] Nought is derived from Old English nōwiht, nāwiht (nothing), from Proto-West Germanic *naiwwiht (nothing). The English word is analysable as naught +‎ -y.



naughty (comparative naughtier, superlative naughtiest)

  1. Mischievous; tending to misbehave or act badly (especially of a child). [from 17th c.]
    Some naughty boys at school hid the teacher's lesson notes.
  2. Sexually provocative; now in weakened sense, risqué, cheeky. [from 19th c.]
    I bought some naughty lingerie for my honeymoon.
    If I see you send another naughty email to your friends, you will be forbidden from using the computer!
  3. (now rare, archaic) Evil, wicked, morally reprehensible. [from 15th c.]
  4. (obsolete) Bad, worthless, substandard. [16th–19th c.]
    • 1542, Andrew Boorde, The First Boke of the Introduction of Knowledge:
      In Cornwall is two speches, the one is naughty Englysshe, and the other is Cornysshe speche.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, [] (King James Version), London: [] Robert Barker, [], →OCLC, Jeremiah 24:2:
      One basket had very good figs, even like the figs that are first ripe: and the other basket had very naughty figs, which could not be eaten, they were so bad.

Alternative forms[edit]



  • (immoral; cheeky): nice

Derived terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


naughty (third-person singular simple present naughties, present participle naughtying, simple past and past participle naughtied)

  1. To perform sexual acts upon.


  1. ^ noughtī, adj.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  2. ^ nought, adj.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  3. ^ -ī̆, suf.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.