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[pyoo-juh-list] /ˈpyu dʒə lɪst/
a person who fights with the fists; a boxer, usually a professional.
Origin of pugilist
1780-90; < Latin pugil (see pugilism) + -ist
Related forms
pugilistic, adjective
pugilistically, adverb
unpugilistic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for pugilist
Historical Examples
  • 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 Oliver Optic
  • 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.

  • These are brave words and, as we should expect from so alert a pugilist, straight from the shoulder.

    Why we should read S. P. B. Mais
  • He meant to ascertain what the relations were between the pugilist and the girl.

    The Exploits of Juve

    Pierre Souvestre and Marcel Allain
  • They had rendered the pugilist helpless while they were robbing him.

    The Exploits of Juve

    Pierre Souvestre and Marcel Allain
  • A pugilist's manager would be of more use to him than a publisher now.

    The Tower of Oblivion Oliver Onions
  • Toppy shook his head, like a pugilist clearing his wits after a knockdown.

    The Snow-Burner Henry Oyen
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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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