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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
  • I have no idea of those people sending every mauvais sujet to Hell.'

    The Infernal Marriage Benjamin Disraeli
  • Badly dressed, but from poverty and economy more than from mauvais got.

    Overlooked Maurice Baring
  • “I believe—between ourselves—he is just a mauvais sujet,” said he.

    Johnny Ludlow, Fifth Series Mrs. Henry Wood
  • You've a treat in store for you—and a mauvais quat' d'heure!

  • Or rather, I do not tell you the worst—that mauvais Herbert!

    Mrs. Halliburton's Troubles Mrs. Henry Wood
  • mauvais, who was a distinguished astronomer in the Academy of Sciences, was the second.

    What is Property? P. J. Proudhon
  • I have long been the king of mauvais sujets, and I want to make an end of it.

    Beatrix Honore de Balzac
  • After some years he went to Oakland and was employed by Mrs. mauvais.

    Sixty Years of California Song Margaret Blake-Alverson
  • It got to be generally understood that Harry was a mauvais sujet.

    Mr. Scarborough's Family Anthony Trollope
  • Fred Birch was fast becoming the mauvais sujet of the district.

    The Testing of Diana Mallory

    Mrs. Humphry Ward

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