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  1. an ill-bred man, especially one who behaves in a dishonorable or irresponsible way toward women.
  2. British Archaic.
    1. a local town boy or youth, as contrasted with a university or public school student.
    2. a servant at a university or public school.

Origin of cad

1780–90; short for caddie, (in the sense “a person who runs errands and does odd jobs”)


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1. bounder, rotter, rascal, rogue; heel.


  1. computer-aided design.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for cad


  1. British informal, old-fashioned a man who does not behave in a gentlemanly manner towards others
Derived Formscaddish, adjective

Word Origin

C18: shortened from caddie


n acronym for
  1. computer-aided design
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for cad


1730, shortening of cadet (q.v.); originally used of servants, then (1831) of town boys by students at British universities and public schools (though at Cambridge it meant "snob"). Meaning "person lacking in finer feelings" is from 1838.

A cad used to be a jumped-up member of the lower classes who was guilty of behaving as if he didn't know that his lowly origin made him unfit for having sexual relationships with well-bred women. [Anthony West, "H.G. Wells: Aspects of a Life," 1984]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper