[ney-kid] /ˈneɪ kɪd/

being without clothing or covering; nude:
naked children swimming in the lake.
without adequate clothing:
a naked little beggar.
bare of any covering, overlying matter, vegetation, foliage, or the like:
naked fields.
bare, stripped, or destitute (usually followed by of):
The trees were suddenly naked of leaves.
without the customary covering, container, or protection:
a naked sword; a naked flame.
without carpets, hangings, or furnishings, as rooms or walls.
(of the eye, sight, etc.) unassisted by a microscope, telescope, or other instrument:
visible to the naked eye.
defenseless; unprotected; exposed:
naked to invaders.
plain; simple; unadorned:
the naked realities of the matter.
not accompanied or supplemented by anything else:
a naked outline of the facts.
exposed to view or plainly revealed:
the naked threat in the letter; a naked vein of coal.
plain-spoken; blunt:
the naked truth.
Law. unsupported, as by authority or consideration:
a naked promise.

Zoology. having no covering of hair, feathers, shell, etc.
partially clothed: a half-naked body
having the body completely unclothed; undressed Compare bare1
having no covering; bare; exposed: a naked flame
with no qualification or concealment; stark; plain: the naked facts
unaided by any optical instrument, such as a telescope or microscope (esp in the phrase the naked eye)
with no defence, protection, or shield
(usually foll by of) stripped or destitute: naked of weapons
(of the seeds of gymnosperms) not enclosed in a pericarp
(of flowers) lacking a perianth
(of stems) lacking leaves and other appendages
(of animals) lacking hair, feathers, scales, etc


Old English nacod “nude, bare; empty,” also “not fully clothed,” from Proto-Germanic *nakwathaz (cf. Old Frisian nakad, Middle Dutch naket, Dutch naakt, Old High German nackot, German nackt, Old Norse nökkviðr, Old Swedish nakuþer, Gothic naqaþs “naked”), from PIE root *nogw- “naked” (cf. Sanskrit nagna, Hittite nekumant-, Old Persian *nagna-, Greek gymnos, Latin nudus, Lithuanian nuogas, Old Church Slavonic nagu-, Russian nagoi, Old Irish nocht, Welsh noeth “bare, naked”). Related: Nakedly; nakedness. Applied to qualities, actions, etc., from late 14c. (first in “The Cloud of Unknowing”); phrase naked truth is from 1585, in Alexander Montgomerie’s “The Cherry and the Slae”:

Which thou must (though it grieve thee) grant
I trumped never a man.
But truely told the naked trueth,
To men that meld with mee,
For neither rigour, nor for rueth,
But onely loath to lie.
[Montgomerie, 1585]

Phrase naked as a jaybird (1943) was earlier naked as a robin (1879, in a Shropshire context); the earliest known comparative based on it was naked as a needle (late 14c.). Naked eye is from 1660s, unnecessary in the world before telescopes and microscopes.


Related Terms

buck naked

This word denotes (1) absolute nakedness (Gen. 2:25; Job 1:21; Eccl. 5:15; Micah 1:8; Amos 2:16); (2) being poorly clad (Isa. 58:7; James 2:15). It denotes also (3) the state of one who has laid aside his loose outer garment (Lat. nudus), and appears clothed only in a long tunic or under robe worn next the skin (1 Sam. 19:24; Isa. 47:3; comp. Mark 14:52; John 21:7). It is used figuratively, meaning “being discovered” or “made manifest” (Job 26:6; Heb. 4:13). In Ex. 32:25 the expression “the people were naked” (A.V.) is more correctly rendered in the Revised Version “the people were broken loose”, i.e., had fallen into a state of lawlessness and insubordination. In 2 Chr. 28:19 the words “he made Judah naked” (A.V.), but Revised Version “he had dealt wantonly in Judah,” mean “he had permitted Judah to break loose from all the restraints of religion.”


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