from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Impudently bold in speech or manner; saucy.
  • n. An impudent, saucy person.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Bold; forward; impudent; saucy; pert.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Characterized by pertness or impudence; saucy; impudent; bold; forward.
  • n. A pert, saucy person.


Middle English, from Old French : mal-, mal- + apert, clever, alteration (influenced by apert, clever, saucy; see pert) of Latin expertus; see expert.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From mal- +‎ apert. (Wiktionary)


  • A child's outcry, more "malapert" than the priest, called the attention of the lingerers, and before any one knew, the passion of destruction had seized like a frenzy upon the people.

    Royal Edinburgh Her Saints, Kings, Prophets and Poets

  • Margerate has great lines through out though- calling Elizabeth 'pale painted queen, vain flourish of my fortune' and saying to Dorset 'master marquess you are malapert, your fire stamp of honour is scarce current'.

    [shakespearean insults] time for some more

  • “And you, too, are malapert, mistress!” said the Lady;

    The Abbot

  • “Thou art ill-advised, thou malapert boy,” replied the steward, “to speak to me in such fashion; but I shall inform my Lady of thine insolence.”

    The Abbot

  • Go to, sir, know yourself, or the master of the household shall make you know you are liable to the scourge as a malapert boy.

    The Abbot

  • “What, ho! is my young master malapert?” said Christie;

    The Monastery

  • Conrade Horst forced his way over moat and wall, must thou be malapert? —

    Quentin Durward

  • I do approve that of St. Ambrose (Comment. in Genesis xxiv. 51), which he hath written touching Rebecca's spousals, A woman should give unto her parents the choice of her husband, [5876] lest she be reputed to be malapert and wanton, if she take upon her to make her own choice; [5877] for she should rather seem to be desired by a man, than to desire a man herself.

    Anatomy of Melancholy

  • But of all those astrological aphorisms which I have ever read, that of Cardan is most memorable, for which howsoever he is bitterly censured by [4763] Marinus Marcennus, a malapert friar, and some others (which [4764] he himself suspected) yet methinks it is free, downright, plain and ingenious.

    Anatomy of Melancholy

  • He is ill, and suffering doubtless under the fear of our displeasure, from which he hath been honestly cleared by the frank avowal of this malapert boy.


Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.