[fawl-staf, -stahf]


Sir John, the jovial, fat knight of brazen assurance and few scruples in Shakespeare's Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2, and The Merry Wives of Windsor.
(italics) an opera (1893) by Giuseppe Verdi, with a libretto by Arrigo Boito based on the Shakespearean character.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for falstaff

Contemporary Examples of falstaff

Historical Examples of falstaff

  • He does not even tell us what pleasure Henry finds in living and carousing with Falstaff.

  • Or was it the infinite humour of Falstaff which attracted him?

  • Who but Falstaff would have found his self-justification in his youth?

  • The features in Falstaff which are so harped upon, are to me the features of the original model.

  • Here is a coward named Falstaff, and Shakespeare puts him into battle.

falstaff in Culture


An endearing, fat, aging rogue who appears in several of the plays of William Shakespeare. He is prominent in the two parts of King Henry the Fourth, where he is the jolly companion of Prince Hal, the future King Henry V. Falstaff is a lover of wine, women, and song; although a coward in practice, he loves to tell tales of his supposed bravery.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.