Prude (?), n. [F., prudish, originally, discreet, modest; shortened from OF. prudefeme, preudefeme, a discreet or excellent woman; OF. preu, prou, excellent, brave + de of + fete woman. See Prow, a., Prowess.]

A woman of affected modesty, reserve, or coyness; one who is overscrupulous or sensitive; one who affects extraordinary prudence in conduct and speech.

Less modest than the speech of prudes. Swift.

 

© Webster 1913.

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