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90s Slang You Should Know


[troo-uh nt] /ˈtru ənt/
a student who stays away from school without permission.
a person who shirks or neglects his or her duty.
absent from school without permission.
neglectful of duty or responsibility; idle.
of, relating to, or characteristic of a truant.
verb (used without object)
to be truant.
Origin of truant
1250-1300; Middle English < Old French: vagrant, beggar < Celtic; compare Welsh truan wretched, wretch
Related forms
truantly, adverb
nontruant, noun, adjective
untruant, adjective
2. idler, shirker, layabout, loafer, malingerer. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for truant
Historical Examples
  • No reproachful teacher, no truant officer threatening arrest and the Juvenile Court, ever darkened her horizon.

    Little Aliens Myra Kelly
  • He was a man grown, not a truant child to be led away by the ear for punishment.

    The Doomsman Van Tassel Sutphen
  • One of our truant officers went to a poor home to find out why a boy who lived there had been absent from school for several days.

    Teaching the Child Patriotism Kate Upson Clarke
  • But that, in her delight at recovering her truant, Martin did not notice.

    Hoodie Mary Louisa Stewart Molesworth
  • Lunch was lingering in the dining-room, left there for the truant Mr Hickson; but of the children or Ruth there was no sign.

    Ruth Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell
  • "Allow me to return your truant hat, Miss Patterdale," said Laud.

    The Yacht Club Oliver Optic
  • Wolfe hearing the joyous news started out to bring back the truant as a lesson to others.

  • "It should have opened and imprisoned you, as a truant dryad," said he.

    Ernest Linwood Caroline Lee Hentz
  • They have even gone so far as to ascertain that William was no truant lord to willingly desert his lonesome lady.

    The Shakespearean Myth Appleton Morgan
  • We got our truant school, and one way that led to the jail was blocked.

    The Battle with the Slum Jacob A. Riis.
British Dictionary definitions for truant


a person who is absent without leave, esp from school
being or relating to a truant
(intransitive) to play truant
Derived Forms
truancy, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old French: vagabond, probably of Celtic origin; compare Welsh truan miserable, Old Irish trōg wretched
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 truant

early 13c., "beggar, vagabond," from Old French truant "beggar, rogue" (12c.), from Gaulish *trougant- (cf. Breton *truan, later truant "vagabond," Welsh truan "wretch," Gaelic truaghan "wretched"). Cf. Spanish truhan "buffoon," from same source. Meaning "one who wanders from an appointed place" is first attested mid-15c. The adjective is recorded from 1540s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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