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in French terms in English, "false, worthless," from French mauvais (fem. mauvaise) "bad," 12c., from Vulgar Latin malifatius, literally "one who has a bad lot," from Latin malum "bad" (see mal-) + fatum "fate" (see fate (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Examples from the Web for mauvais
Historical Examples
  • The result of Olympe's aspirations was, we know, such a mauvais quart d'heure with Anne for the Cardinal as to terrify him.

    Court Beauties of Old Whitehall W. R. H. Trowbridge
  • I have no idea of those people sending every mauvais sujet to Hell.'

    The Infernal Marriage Benjamin Disraeli
  • If she had made a mauvais pas no one could retire from it with more dignity.

    The Virginians William Makepeace Thackeray
  • Badly dressed, but from poverty and economy more than from mauvais got.

    Overlooked Maurice Baring
  • Liane herself had long since put quite out of mind that mauvais quart d'heure.

    Alias The Lone Wolf Louis Joseph Vance
  • “I believe—between ourselves—he is just a mauvais sujet,” said he.

    Johnny Ludlow, Fifth Series Mrs. Henry Wood
  • So he and the famous goat were mutually spared many a mauvais quart d'heure.

    Darkness and Dawn George Allan England
  • You've a treat in store for you—and a mauvais quat' d'heure!

  • Ma chrie, when I think of my mauvais dbut, I can hardly believe that I am on my way to take tea with a femme du monde.

    Sylvia & Michael Compton Mackenzie
  • Or rather, I do not tell you the worst—that mauvais Herbert!

    Mrs. Halliburton's Troubles Mrs. Henry Wood

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