- a person who fights with the fists; a boxer, usually a professional.
Origin of pugilist
Examples from the Web for pugilist
She had put on a blue bath-robe, and looked like a pugilist about to enter the ring.The Girl on the Boat
Pelham Grenville Wodehouse
"I'm all ready," said Richard, throwing himself into the attitude of the pugilist.In School and Out
He set himself square like a pugilist, which was his notion of resistance.Phoebe, Junior
Mrs [Margaret] Oliphant
Perhaps a pugilist would have said that the younger "heeled" the other.Footprints in the Forest
Edward Sylvester Ellis
The muscularity, purchased by excessive nutriment, of the Bœotian pugilist.Plutarch's Lives, Volume IV
Word Origin and History for pugilist
1789, from Latin pugil "boxer, fist-fighter," related to pugnus "a fist" (see pugnacious) + -ist. Related: Pugilistic (1789); pugilistically. Pugil occasionally turns up in English as "boxer, fist-fighter" (from 1640s), but it has not caught on. Pugil stick (1962) was introduced by U.S. military as a substitute for rifles in bayonet drills.