Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

rude - definition and synonyms

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

adjective     rude pronunciation in American English
Word Forms
  1. 1
    not polite

    I don’t want to seem rude, but I’d rather be alone.

    it is rude to do something:

    It’s rude to keep people waiting.

    downright rude (=extremely rude):

    The way she stared was downright rude.

    1. a.
      a rude word/joke/gesture:

      He knows a few rude words in Italian.

  2. 2
    mainly literary used about things that happen suddenly and have a strong effect on you
  3. 3
    old-fashioned made or designed in a simple way

    a rude wooden bench

derived words



What was I saying before I was so rudely interrupted?


noun [uncountable]

Open Dictionary

snap election

a general election … that is called earlier than expected

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play