• synonyms

Boy Scout

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  1. a member of an organization of boys (Boy Scouts), founded in England in 1908 by Lieut. Gen. Sir Robert S. S. Baden-Powell, that seeks to develop certain skills in its members, as well as character, self-reliance, and usefulness to others.
  2. (lowercase) a member of any similar society elsewhere.
  3. (lowercase) Sometimes Disparaging. a person whose deeds, obliging personality, idealism, etc., exceed normal expectations.
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Origin of Boy Scout

First recorded in 1905–10

Usage note

Use of boy scout to mean ‘someone who is obliging and idealistic’ usually implies that the person is naive or unworldly.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for boy scout

Historical Examples

  • Some of them were in Indian garb, with tomahawks; others in boy-scout hats, as pilgrims.

    The Cricket

    Marjorie Cooke

  • There is much to commend the boy-scout movement as a country organization.

    Farm Boys and Girls

    William Arch McKeever

  • Every boy ought to have, as he takes up his boy-scout work, a thorough medical examination.

    Boy Scouts Handbook

    Boy Scouts of America

  • Her name was entered on the form and the boy-scout disappeared to call at other houses.

  • Winnie, Lady Widelands (grandmother of the hero of the night) was enormously admired as a boy-scout.

British Dictionary definitions for boy scout

boy scout

  1. See Scout
  2. US and Canadian informal an apparently virtuous and innocent person
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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