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[pek-uh nt] /ˈpɛk ənt/
sinning; guilty of a moral offense.
violating a rule, principle, or established practice; faulty; wrong.
Origin of peccant
1595-1605; < Latin peccant- (stem of peccāns), present participle of peccāre to err, offend; see -ant
Related forms
peccancy, peccantness, noun
peccantly, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for peccant
Historical Examples
  • But it is useless and canting to say that peccant women are worse than men.

    She Stands Accused Victor MacClure
  • The two peccant riders unfortunately were Sir Griffin and Lucinda.

    The Eustace Diamonds

    Anthony Trollope
  • But there is one touchstone by which the peccant element in them may be at once detected.

    The Real Gladstone J. Ewing Ritchie
  • Thus brought to book, the peccant Gibbons confesses to what has occurred in all its details.

    Gwen Wynn Mayne Reid
  • Nor did the peccant Lieutenant James think it worth while to resign his commission.

    Lola Montez Edmund B. d'Auvergne
  • Adeline exclaimed, going to the mirror to rearrange the peccant tissue.

  • The fictitious nephew Fitzvictor was apparently a son of the Victor who had but recently collaborated with the peccant Cazire.

  • To read the words as referring to the peccant verse, is to take the clinch off the whole passage.

    The Bbur-nma in English

    Babur, Emperor of Hindustan
  • This idea had occurred to Joe from his remembrance of a peccant hound in the grasp of a tyrant whip.

    Mr. Scarborough's Family Anthony Trollope
  • The press is a great and peccant engine; and who has public interest more at heart than your editor?

    The Sunset Trail Alfred Henry Lewis
British Dictionary definitions for peccant


adjective (rare)
guilty of an offence; corrupt
violating or disregarding a rule; faulty
producing disease; morbid
Derived Forms
peccancy, noun
peccantly, adverb
Word Origin
C17: from Latin peccans, from peccāre to sin
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
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Word Origin and History for peccant

c.1600, from Latin peccantem (nominative pecans) "sinful," present participle of peccare "to sin" (see peccadillo). As a noun from 1620s. Related: Peccancy.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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peccant in Medicine

peccant pec·cant (pěk'ənt)
Producing disease.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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