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Scaramouch

or Scar·a·mouche

[skar-uh-mouch, -moosh]
noun
  1. a stock character in commedia dell'arte and farce who is a cowardly braggart, easily beaten and frightened.
  2. (lowercase) a rascal or scamp.
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Origin of Scaramouch

1655–65; < French Scaramouche < Italian Scaramuccia, proper use of scaramuccia skirmish (applied in jest); of Germanic orig.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for scaramouche

Historical Examples of scaramouche

  • Scaramouche turned to her, smiling, and handed her the candle.

    Scaramouche

    Rafael Sabatini

  • And a success it proved that more than justified all the heralding of which Scaramouche had been guilty.

    Scaramouche

    Rafael Sabatini

  • For Scaramouche himself this success was not confined to the public.

    Scaramouche

    Rafael Sabatini

  • Scaramouche was clearly a great gentleman, an eccentric if you please, but a man born.

    Scaramouche

    Rafael Sabatini

  • In fact I have no name, unless it be Scaramouche, to which I have earned a title.

    Scaramouche

    Rafael Sabatini


British Dictionary definitions for scaramouche

Scaramouch

Scaramouche

noun
  1. a stock character who appears as a boastful coward in commedia dell'arte and farce
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Word Origin for Scaramouch

C17: via French from Italian Scaramuccia, from scaramuccia a skirmish
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 scaramouche

n.

1660s, name of a cowardly braggart (supposed by some to represent a Spanish don) in traditional Italian comedy, from Italian Scaramuccia, literally "skirmish," from schermire "to fence," from a Germanic source (cf. Old High German skirmen "defend"); see skirmish (n.). According to OED, a vogue word in late 17c. London due to the popularity of Italian actor Tiberio Fiurelli (1608-1694) in the part.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper