Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A woman who keeps a brothel; a madam.
  • n. A woman prostitute.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A person who keeps a house of prostitution, or procures women for a lewd purpose; a procurer or procuress.
  • n. A lewd person.
  • adj. Joyous; riotously gay.
  • v. To procure women for lewd purposes.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A person who keeps a house of prostitution, or procures women for a lewd purpose; a procurer or procuress; a lewd person; -- usually applied to a woman.
  • intransitive v. To procure women for lewd purposes.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To pander; act as procurer or procuress.
  • To foul or dirty.
  • n. A procurer or procuress; a person who keeps a house of prostitution, and conducts illicit intrigues: now usually applied only to women.
  • n. A hare.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a woman who engages in sexual intercourse for money

Etymologies

Middle English, probably from Old French baud, merry, licentious, from Old Low German bald, bold, merry; see bhel-2 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth 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. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Lussurioso undermines her first, more for her being a woman and a mother: "The name [of 'bawd']/is so in league with age that nowadays/It does eclipse three-quarters of a mother."

    Final drafting stuff:

  • If you're a fan of vampires, but don't want to see high school kids staring longingly at each other before taking vows of chastity, then we highly recommend that you tune in for this adult-oriented "bawd" ville horror-fest.

    IGN TV

  • (1. 3.147-149) and even undermines her motherly status, observing that bawds are often older women, and mothers are older women (usually): "The name [of 'bawd']/is so in league with age that nowadays/It does eclipse three-quarters of a mother."

    Draft: Women's Negotiations of Moral and Material Status in The Revenger's Tragedy

  • "bawd:" Cf. Letter 60, note 14 and Feb. 18, 1712-13.

    The Journal to Stella

  • 12 Forster reads, "devil's brood"; probably the second word is "bawd:" Cf. Letter 60, note 14 and Feb. 18, 1712-13.

    The Journal to Stella

  • New Haven was a feast of fat things—now the young wife in "La Ronde," now the bawd in "Pericles," now a play by Euripides, now by Strindberg, now the leading lady, now the ingénue.

    The Independent-Film Character

  • But Shakespeare makes him live with himself and the consequences of his human weakness (not hypocrisy -- the Duke is hypocritical when he plays bawd to Mariana, but Angelo knows exactly what he's doing).

    Measure For Measure

  • As Martin Lindstrom reminds us in "Brandwashed," marketers make sneaky appeals to our fears and desires, leverage our social connections to maximize peer pressure, dazzle us with tinfoil celebrity and lure us with sexual come-ons that would embarrass a bawd.

    The Amygdala As Sales Tool

  • Best of all is the wonderful, pivotal scene in which Tilly Tremayne's well-judged, shrewd widow takes on Harriet Walter's glittering bawd at chess.

    Women Beware Women; Bingo

  • I took him off to a very high-priced place I knew in St John's Wood, swore the old bawd to secrecy, and stated the randy little pig's requirements.

    The Sky Writer

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