[blag-ahrd, -erd, blak-gahrd]


a low, contemptible person; scoundrel.
  1. a group of menial workers in the kitchen of a large household.
  2. the servants of an army.
  3. camp followers.

verb (used with object)

to revile in scurrilous language.

Origin of blackguard

1525–35; black + guard; original sense obscure
Related formsblack·guard·ism, nounblack·guard·ly, adverb

Synonyms for blackguard Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for blackguard

miscreant, riffraff, villain, rogue, snake, knave, bum, skunk, cad, lowlife

Examples from the Web for blackguard

Historical Examples of blackguard

British Dictionary definitions for blackguard



  1. an unprincipled contemptible person; scoundrel
  2. (as modifier)blackguard language


(tr) to ridicule or denounce with abusive language
(intr) to behave like a blackguard
Derived Formsblackguardism, nounblackguardly, adjective

Word Origin for blackguard

C16: originally a collective noun referring to the lowest menials in court, camp followers, vagabonds; see black, guard
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

Word Origin and History for blackguard

1530s, scullion, kitchen knave. Perhaps once an actual military or guard unit; more likely originally a mock-military reference to scullions and kitchen-knaves of noble households, of black-liveried personal guards, and of shoeblacks. By 1736, sense had emerged of "one of the criminal class." Hence the adjectival use (1784), "of low or worthless character."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper