Bawd meaning

bôd
Frequency:
A woman who keeps a brothel; a madam.
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A woman prostitute.
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(literary) A person, now esp. a woman, who keeps a brothel; madam.
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(rare) A prostitute.
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(now archaic or historical) A person who keeps a house of prostitution, or procures women for prostitution; a procurer, a madame.
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A lewd person.
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(obsolete) Joyous; riotously gay.
adjective
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(archaic) To procure women for lewd purposes.
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Origin of bawd

  • Middle English probably from Old French baud merry, licentious from Old Saxon bald bold, merry bhel-2 in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Middle English bawde, baude, noun form of Old French baud (“bold, lively, jolly, gay”), from Old Low Frankish *bald (“bold, proud”), from Proto-Germanic *balþaz (“strong, bold”), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰel-, *bʰlē- (“to inflate, swell”). Cognate with Old High German bald (“bold, bright”), Old English beald (“bold, brave, confident, strong”). More at bold.

    From Wiktionary