[pek-uh nt]


sinning; guilty of a moral offense.
violating a rule, principle, or established practice; faulty; wrong.

Origin of peccant

1595–1605; < Latin peccant- (stem of peccāns), present participle of peccāre to err, offend; see -ant
Related formspec·can·cy, pec·cant·ness, nounpec·cant·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for peccant

corrupt, erring, guilty, sinful

Examples from the Web for peccant

Historical Examples of peccant

  • But it is useless and canting to say that peccant women are worse than men.

    She Stands Accused

    Victor MacClure

  • The two peccant riders unfortunately were Sir Griffin and Lucinda.

    The Eustace Diamonds

    Anthony Trollope

  • But there is one touchstone by which the peccant element in them may be at once detected.

    The Real Gladstone

    J. Ewing Ritchie

  • Thus brought to book, the peccant Gibbons confesses to what has occurred in all its details.

    Gwen Wynn

    Mayne Reid

  • Nor did the peccant Lieutenant James think it worth while to resign his commission.

    Lola Montez

    Edmund B. d'Auvergne

British Dictionary definitions for peccant


adjective rare

guilty of an offence; corrupt
violating or disregarding a rule; faulty
producing disease; morbid
Derived Formspeccancy, nounpeccantly, adverb

Word Origin for peccant

C17: from Latin peccans, from peccāre to sin
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 peccant

c.1600, from Latin peccantem (nominative pecans) "sinful," present participle of peccare "to sin" (see peccadillo). As a noun from 1620s. Related: Peccancy.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

peccant in Medicine




Producing disease.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.