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[rab-uh-ley-zee-uh n, -zhuh n] /ˌræb əˈleɪ zi ən, -ʒən/
of, relating to, or suggesting François Rabelais, whose work is characterized by broad, coarse humor and keen satire.
a person who admires or studies the works of Rabelais.
Origin of Rabelaisian
First recorded in 1855-60; Rabelais + -ian Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for Rabelaisian
Historical Examples
  • The book and its Rabelaisian criticisms have been long since forgotten.

  • “Lost” was not the exact phrase, Boucher being a Rabelaisian wag, but it will pass.


    Haldane Macfall
  • Except for these, the book is characterized by a truly Rabelaisian humor.

  • Thus mediæval play is epical in its Rabelaisian plainness of speech.

    Unicorns James Huneker
  • We must stand on our feet in all our Rabelaisian nakedness, and watch the world fade.

    The Return Walter de la Mare
  • The thing was a primitive type of novel—discoursive, gentle, Rabelaisian.

    Gargoyles Ben Hecht
  • This thwacking rough-and-tumble, Rabelaisian horse-play—Shakespeare!

    The Story of My Life Ellen Terry
  • Most of the songs had a Rabelaisian touch, some were nasty, but nearly all had wit.

    The Foundations of Japan J.W. Robertson Scott
  • "No, no," cried Burrows, with a sort of Rabelaisian uproariousness.

    The Club of Queer Trades G. K. Chesterton
  • It was Voltairean rather than Rabelaisian; and I dislike both.

    The Silent Isle

    Arthur Christopher Benson
British Dictionary definitions for Rabelaisian


/ˌræbəˈleɪzɪən; -ʒən/
of, relating to, or resembling the work of Rabelais, esp by broad, often bawdy humour and sharp satire
a student or admirer of Rabelais
Derived Forms
Rabelaisianism, noun
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 Rabelaisian

1817, from French author François Rabelais (c.1490-1553), whose writings "are distinguished by exuberance of imagination and language combined with extravagance and coarseness of humor and satire." [OED]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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