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varlet

[vahr-lit]
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noun Archaic.
  1. a knavish person; rascal.
    1. an attendant or servant.
    2. a page who serves a knight.
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Origin of varlet

1425–75; late Middle English < Middle French; variant of valet
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for varlet

Historical Examples

  • 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

varlet

noun archaic
  1. a menial servant
  2. a knight's page
  3. a rascal
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Word Origin

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

n.

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper