[ swosh-buhk-ler, swawsh- ]
/ ˈswɒʃˌbʌk lər, ˈswɔʃ- /


a swaggering swordsman, soldier, or adventurer; daredevil.

Nearby words

  1. swartzite,
  2. swash,
  3. swash letter,
  4. swash plate,
  5. swashbuckle,
  6. swashbuckling,
  7. swashing,
  8. swashingly,
  9. swastika,
  10. swat

Sometimes swash·er.

Origin of swashbuckler

First recorded in 1550–60; swash + buckler

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for swashbuckler

British Dictionary definitions for swashbuckler


/ (ˈswɒʃˌbʌklə) /


a swaggering or flamboyant adventurer
a film, book, play, etc, depicting excitement and adventure, esp in a historical setting

Word Origin for swashbuckler

C16: from swash (in the archaic sense: to make the noise of a sword striking a shield) + buckler

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 swashbuckler



1550s, "blustering, swaggering fighting man" (earlier simply swash, 1540s), from swash "fall of a blow" (see swash) + buckler "shield." The original sense seems to have been "one who makes menacing noises by striking his or an opponent's shield."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper