scoundrel

[skoun-druhl]
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adjective
  1. mean or base in nature; villainous; unprincipled; dishonorable.

Origin of scoundrel

First recorded in 1580–90; origin uncertain

Synonyms for scoundrel

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


Examples from the Web for scoundrel

Contemporary Examples of scoundrel

Historical Examples of scoundrel

  • That scoundrel Corney has been about some mischief—damn him!

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • You make me feel like a scoundrel, and I've only been taking a little bit of happiness.

    K

    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • But when the tale was told, "It's that scoundrel, Mulready!"

    The Black Bag

    Louis Joseph Vance

  • I am sorry because I believe there is contamination in such a scoundrel.

    A Tale of Two Cities

    Charles Dickens

  • For he did not know how best to tell her that her brother was a scoundrel.

    Roden's Corner

    Henry Seton Merriman


British Dictionary definitions for scoundrel

scoundrel

noun
  1. a worthless or villainous person
Derived Formsscoundrelly, adjective

Word Origin for scoundrel

C16: of unknown origin
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 scoundrel
n.

1580s, skowndrell, of unknown origin. One suggestion is Anglo-French escoundre (Old French escondre) "to hide, hide oneself," from Vulgar Latin *excondere, from Latin condere "to hide" (see abscond). The main objection to this theory is that hundreds of years lie between the two words.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper