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


a swaggering swordsman, soldier, or adventurer; daredevil.
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