knave

[ neyv ]
/ neɪv /

noun

an unprincipled, untrustworthy, or dishonest person.
Archaic.
  1. a male servant.
  2. a man of humble position.

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Origin of knave

First recorded before 1000; Middle English; Old English cnafa; cognate with German Knabe “boy”; akin to Old Norse knapi “page, boy”

synonym study for knave

1. Knave, rascal, rogue, scoundrel are disparaging terms applied to persons considered base, dishonest, or worthless. Knave, which formerly meant merely a boy or servant, in modern use emphasizes baseness of nature and intention: a dishonest and swindling knave. Rascal suggests shrewdness and trickery in dishonesty: a plausible rascal. A rogue is a worthless fellow who sometimes preys extensively upon the community by fraud: photographs of criminals in a rogues' gallery. A scoundrel is a blackguard and rogue of the worst sort: a thorough scoundrel. Rascal and rogue are often used affectionately or humorously ( an entertaining rascal; a saucy rogue ), but knave and scoundrel are not.

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH knave

knave , nave
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for knave

British Dictionary definitions for knave

knave
/ (neɪv) /

noun

archaic a dishonest man; rogue
another word for jack 1 (def. 6)
obsolete a male servant

Derived forms of knave

knavish, adjectiveknavishly, adverbknavishness, noun

Word Origin for knave

Old English cnafa; related to Old High German knabo boy
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