- a male servant.
- a man of humble position.
Origin of knave
Examples from the Web for knave
And Michel, exploding with laughter, handed Flint a knave of clubs very much soiled.Daisy's Necklace|Thomas Bailey Aldrich
Commend a fool for his wit and a knave for his honesty, and they will receive you into their bosoms.Many Thoughts of Many Minds|Various
So that the knave took little notice of it, but laughing at the complaints of the charming creature, asked her to fix the day.Droll Stories, Complete|Honore de Balzac
Here is a knave of a friar calleth me a mad priest, and yet I smite him not.The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood|Howard Pyle
He has not attacked me with the heart of a king, but with the impudence of a knave.Curiosities of Literature, Vol. 1 (of 3)|Isaac D'Israeli
Word Origin for knave
Old English cnafa "boy, male servant," common Germanic (cf. Old High German knabo "boy, youth, servant," German knabe "boy, lad," also probably related to Old English cnapa "boy, youth, servant," Old Norse knapi "servant boy," Dutch knaap "a youth, servant," Middle High German knappe "a young squire," German Knappe "squire, shield-bearer"). The original meaning might have been "stick, piece of wood" [Klein]. Sense of "rogue, rascal" first recorded c.1200. In playing cards, "the jack," 1560s.