What does ribald mean?

Definitions for ribald
ˈrɪb əld; spelling pron. ˈraɪ bəldrib·ald

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word ribald.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. ribaldadjective

    a ribald person; someone who uses vulgar and offensive language

  2. bawdy, off-color, ribaldadjective

    humorously vulgar

    "bawdy songs"; "off-color jokes"; "ribald language"


  1. ribaldnoun

    A person who is filthy or vulgar.

  2. ribaldadjective

    Coarsely, vulgarly or lewdly humorous.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. RIBALDnoun

    A loose, rough, mean, brutal wretch.

    Etymology: ribauld, Fr. ribaldo, Italian.

    That lewd ribbald, with vile lust advanced,
    Laid first his filthy hands on virgin clean,
    To spoil her dainty corse so fair and sheen. Fairy Queen.

    Your ribauld nag of Egypt,
    The breeze upon her, like a cow in June,
    Hoists sails, and flies. William Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra.

    The busy day,
    Wak’d by the lark, has rous’d the ribald crows,
    And dreaming night will hide our joys no longer. William Shakespeare.

    Ne’er one sprig of laurel grac’d these ribbalds,
    From flashing Bentley down to pidling Tibbalds. Alexander Pope.


  1. Ribald

    Ribaldry or blue comedy is humorous entertainment that ranges from bordering on indelicacy to indecency. Blue comedy is also referred to as "bawdiness" or being "bawdy". Sex is presented in ribald material more for the purpose of poking fun at the foibles and weaknesses that manifest themselves in human sexuality, rather than to present sexual stimulation either overtly or artistically. Also, ribaldry may use sex as a metaphor to illustrate some non-sexual concern, in which case ribaldry borders satire. Like any humour, ribaldry may be read as conventional or subversive. Ribaldry typically depends on a shared background of sexual conventions and values, and its comedy generally depends on seeing those conventions broken. The ritual taboo-breaking that is a usual counterpart of ribaldry underlies its controversial nature and explains why ribaldry is sometimes a subject of censorship. Ribaldry, whose usual aim is not "merely" to be sexually stimulating, often does address larger concerns than mere sexual appetite. However, being presented in the form of comedy, these larger concerns may be overlooked by censors. Ribaldry differs from black comedy in that the latter deals with topics which would normally be considered painful or frightening, whereas ribaldry deals with topics that would only be considered offensive.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Ribald

    a low, vulgar, brutal, foul-mouthed wretch; a lewd fellow

  2. Ribaldadjective

    low; base; mean; filthy; obscene

  3. Etymology: [OE. ribald, ribaud, F. ribaud, OF. ribald, ribault, LL. ribaldus, of German origin; cf. OHG hrpa prostitute. For the ending -ald cf. E. Herald.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Ribald

    rib′ald, n. a loose, low character.—adj. low, base, mean: licentious: foul-mouthed—also Rib′aud (Spens.).—adjs. Rib′aldish, Rib′aldrous, ribald.—n. Rib′aldry, obscenity: filthiness: low and vulgar scurrility—also Rib′audry (obs.). [O. Fr. ribald, ribaut (Fr. ribaud, It. ribaldo)—Old High Ger. hrīpā, Mid. High Ger. ribe, a whore.]

Anagrams for ribald »

  1. bridal

  2. bildar

How to pronounce ribald?

How to say ribald in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of ribald in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of ribald in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of ribald in a Sentence

  1. Roger Stone:

    Our texts are the late night bickering of two grumpy political veterans, who have known each other for years. They are friendly as well as nasty, ribald, vicious, inconsistent humorous and vile.

  2. James Joyce:

    I shall write a book some day about the appropriateness of names. Geoffrey Chaucer has a ribald ring, as is proper and correct, and Alexander Pope was inevitably Alexander Pope. Colley Cibber was a silly little man without much elegance and Shelley was very Percy and very Bysshe.

  3. George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman:

    Audacious ribald: your laughter will finish in hideous boredom before morning.

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Translations for ribald

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"ribald." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 23 Mar. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/ribald>.

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    the trait of lacking restraint or control; reckless freedom from inhibition or worry
    • A. pluck
    • B. scholastic
    • C. abandon
    • D. serendipity

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