Something ribald is funny, but in a vulgar or off-color way. If someone makes a ribald joke in class, she will probably be sent to the principal's office.

The word ribald can be used to describe a joke, a movie, or even a person, like a ribald comedian on a late-night talk show. Ribald humor is generally considered to be inappropriate around children, and if you make a ribald comment, you might inadvertently offend someone. This word derives from an Old French word meaning "rogue" or "debauched."

Definitions of ribald
  1. adjective
    humorously vulgar
    ribald language”
    synonyms: bawdy, off-color
    (of behavior or especially language) characterized by obscenity or indecency
  2. noun
    a ribald person; someone who uses vulgar and offensive language
    see moresee less
    type of:
    a vulgar person (especially someone who makes a vulgar display of wealth)
Word Family
F1 image

Express yourself in 25 languages

  • Learn immersively - no memorization required
  • Build skills for real-world conversations
  • Get immediate feedback on your pronunciation
Get started for $7.99/month