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[swosh-buhk-ler, swawsh-] /ˈswɒʃˌbʌk lər, ˈswɔʃ-/
a swaggering swordsman, soldier, or adventurer; daredevil.
Sometimes, swasher.
Origin of swashbuckler
First recorded in 1550-60; swash + buckler Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for swashbuckler
Historical Examples
  • They kept a swashbuckler court in their little Manx kingdom.

  • And what was that swashbuckler Feraud doing there, he wondered.

    A Set of Six Joseph Conrad
  • He has in him more of the swashbuckler and the bully than of the courtier and the cavalier.

  • I pick my company, and I refuse to drink with a swashbuckler and a roysterer.

    The Cryptogram William Murray Graydon
  • He was a swashbuckler whom Callot would have loved to paint.

    The Duke's Motto Justin Huntly McCarthy
  • Could they find a swashbuckler willing to assail the present incumbent?

    The Unwilling Vestal Edward Lucas White
  • A brawler and a swashbuckler upon the hillsides was I.' Kim bit back a smile.

    Kim Rudyard Kipling
  • When I came up I looked like a swashbuckler in one of Scudry's plays.

    The Grey Cloak

    Harold MacGrath
  • The hand of every swashbuckler in the empire would be against him.

    Tales of Old Japan

    Algernon Bertram Freeman-Mitford
  • But the "swashing blow" strikes home, and if the Unionist bucklers are beaten down thereby, let who likes cry "swashbuckler!"

British Dictionary definitions for swashbuckler


a swaggering or flamboyant adventurer
a film, book, play, etc, depicting excitement and adventure, esp in a historical setting
Word Origin
C16: from swash (in the archaic sense: to make the noise of a sword striking a shield) + buckler
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 swashbuckler

1550s, "blustering, swaggering fighting man" (earlier simply swash, 1540s), from swash "fall of a blow" (see swash) + buckler "shield." The original sense seems to have been "one who makes menacing noises by striking his or an opponent's shield."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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