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[vahr-lit] /ˈvɑr lɪt/
noun, Archaic.
a knavish person; rascal.
  1. an attendant or servant.
  2. a page who serves a knight.
Origin of varlet
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English < Middle French; variant of valet Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for varlet
Historical Examples
  • I trust not the varlet with whom I bartered it for my motley.

    The Armourer's Prentices Charlotte M. Yonge
  • The fourth varlet did not wait for me, but closed on me with his knife.

    Sir Ludar Talbot Baines Reed
  • At one time he took service with a minstrel and was his varlet.

  • "Then give the varlet food and raiment and set him on his way," said Sir Hugh.

    The Canterbury Puzzles

    Henry Ernest Dudeney
  • But, Rebecca, I've a mind to see what observance these people will give the varlet.

    The Panchronicon Harold Steele Mackaye
  • The varlet, as he was then called, followed Mr Altham into the shop.

    The White Lady of Hazelwood Emily Sarah Holt
  • The most religious persons have often more respect for a varlet, than for God.

    Good Sense Paul Henri Thiry, Baron D'Holbach
  • Whether knight or varlet shall the finder be, I will not say.

  • An I had known, I should have seen the varlet hanged ere I had told him.

    The Black Arrow Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Good it is to hear that the varlet was not let sleep sound all the night!

    The Flute of the Gods

    Marah Ellis Ryan
British Dictionary definitions for varlet


noun (archaic)
a menial servant
a knight's page
a rascal
Word Origin
C15: from Old French, variant of valletvalet
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 varlet

mid-15c., "servant, attendant of a knight," from Middle French varlet (14c.), variant of vaslet, originally "squire, young man," from Old French vassal (see vassal). The meaning "rascal, rogue" is 1540s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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