a complete rogue or rascal; a habitually unscrupulous person; scamp.

Origin of scapegrace

First recorded in 1800–10; scape2 + grace Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for scapegrace

Historical Examples of scapegrace

  • It may be that after this lapse of time, the Judge even tolerates the scapegrace.


    Henry Morford

  • Could the scapegrace still be a gambler, and that could account for it?

    Man and Maid

    Elinor Glyn

  • Three people determined upon it must surely save the scapegrace!

    Man and Maid

    Elinor Glyn

  • Singular to say, he was indebted for the place to that scapegrace Hill.

  • Tommy Bangs was the scapegrace of the school, and the most trying scapegrace that ever lived.

    Little Men

    Louisa May Alcott

British Dictionary definitions for scapegrace



an idle mischievous person

Word Origin for scapegrace

C19: from scape ² + grace, alluding to a person who lacks God's grace
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 scapegrace

1767, from scape (v.) + grace (n.); as if "one who escapes the grace of God." Possibly influenced by scapegoat.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper