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[sheyv-ling] /ˈʃeɪv lɪŋ/
Older Use: Disparaging. a clergyman with a shaven or tonsured head.
a young fellow; youngster.
Origin of shaveling
First recorded in 1520-30; shave + -ling1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for shaveling
Historical Examples
  • What if Count Hannibal were behind, were even now mounting the stairs, prepared to force her to a marriage before this shaveling?

    Count Hannibal Stanley J. Weyman
  • You are a man of sinew yourself, monk, and methinks that you would have made a better soldier than a shaveling.

    Both Sides the Border

    G. A. Henty
  • This shaven crown will speedily thatch itself again, a beard grow upon these shaveling cheeks.

    Joan of the Sword Hand S(amuel) R(utherford) Crockett
  • The warrior uttered a grunt of pain, cast a surprised angry stare at the shaveling of a Paddy, and thrust with his lance.


    John William De Forest
  • The Baron was fairly satisfied, and muttered that if the bairn was fit only for a shaveling, it might be all right.

    Grisly Grisell Charlotte M. Yonge
  • I don't care what a shaveling says: so I mean just to go and wish, and I won't sacrifice anything.

    The Gold Of Fairnilee Andrew Lang
  • Saxons can preach you a homily with any shaveling priest in the land, or simper as chastely as any wench.

  • Here, fellow, run this shaveling priest through with thy sword, quick!

British Dictionary definitions for shaveling


noun (archaic)
(derogatory) a priest or clergyman with a shaven head
a young fellow; youth
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 shaveling

contemptuous term for a friar, literally "shaven person," 1520s, from shave + -ling. "Very common in 16th and 17th c." [OED]. Also as an adjective (1570s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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