• synonyms


[rab-uh-ley-zee-uh n, -zhuh n]
  1. of, relating to, or suggesting François Rabelais, whose work is characterized by broad, coarse humor and keen satire.
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  1. a person who admires or studies the works of Rabelais.
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Origin of Rabelaisian

First recorded in 1855–60; Rabelais + -ian
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for rabelaisian

Historical Examples

  • The book and its Rabelaisian criticisms have been long since forgotten.

    The Bell-Ringer of Angel's and Other Stories

    Bret Harte

  • “Lost” was not the exact phrase, Boucher being a Rabelaisian wag, but it will pass.


    Haldane Macfall

  • Except for these, the book is characterized by a truly Rabelaisian humor.

  • Thus mediæval play is epical in its Rabelaisian plainness of speech.


    James Huneker

  • We must stand on our feet in all our Rabelaisian nakedness, and watch the world fade.

    The Return

    Walter de la Mare

British Dictionary definitions for rabelaisian


  1. of, relating to, or resembling the work of Rabelais, esp by broad, often bawdy humour and sharp satire
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  1. a student or admirer of Rabelais
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Derived FormsRabelaisianism, noun
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 rabelaisian



1817, from French author François Rabelais (c.1490-1553), whose writings "are distinguished by exuberance of imagination and language combined with extravagance and coarseness of humor and satire." [OED]

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper