noun Archaic.

a knavish person; rascal.
  1. an attendant or servant.
  2. a page who serves a knight.

Origin of varlet

1425–75; late Middle English < Middle French; variant of valet Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for varlet

helper, servant, vassal, knave, blackguard, page, footman

Examples from the Web for varlet

Historical Examples of varlet

  • I trust not the varlet with whom I bartered it for my motley.

    The Armourer's Prentices

    Charlotte M. Yonge

  • The fourth varlet did not wait for me, but closed on me with his knife.

    Sir Ludar

    Talbot Baines Reed

  • At one time he took service with a minstrel and was his varlet.

  • "Then give the varlet food and raiment and set him on his way," said Sir Hugh.

    The Canterbury Puzzles

    Henry Ernest Dudeney

  • But, Rebecca, I've a mind to see what observance these people will give the varlet.

    The Panchronicon

    Harold Steele Mackaye

British Dictionary definitions for varlet


noun archaic

a menial servant
a knight's page
a rascal

Word Origin for varlet

C15: from Old French, variant of vallet valet
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 varlet

mid-15c., "servant, attendant of a knight," from Middle French varlet (14c.), variant of vaslet, originally "squire, young man," from Old French vassal (see vassal). The meaning "rascal, rogue" is 1540s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper