blackguard

[ blag-ahrd, -erd, blak-gahrd ]
/ ˈblæg ɑrd, -ərd, ˈblækˌgɑrd /

noun

a low, contemptible person; scoundrel.
Obsolete.
  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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for blackguard

British Dictionary definitions for blackguard

blackguard

/ (ˈblæɡɑːd, -ɡəd) /

noun

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

verb

(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

blackguard


n.

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