from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. An attendant or servant.
- n. A knight's page.
- n. A rascal; a knave.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A servant or attendant.
- n. Specifically, a youth acting as a knight's attendant at the beginning of his training for knighthood.
- n. A rogue or scoundrel.
- n. The jack.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A servant, especially to a knight; an attendant; a valet; a footman.
- n. Hence, a low fellow; a scoundrel; a rascal.
- n. In a pack of playing cards, the court card now called the knave, or jack.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Originally, a very young man of noble or knightly birth, serving an apprenticeship in knightly exercises and accomplishments while awaiting elevation to the rank of knight; hence (because such youths served as pages or personal servants to the knights who had charge of them), a body-servant or attendant. (See valet.) The name was also given to the city bailiffs or Serjeants.
- n. Hence, one in a subordinate or menial position; a low fellow; a scoundrel; a rascal; a rogue: a term of contempt or reproach.
- n. The coat-card now called the knave or jack (in French, valet).
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a deceitful and unreliable scoundrel
- n. in medieval times a youth acting as a knight's attendant as the first stage in training for knighthood
Middle English, from Old French, variant of vaslet; see valet.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French varlet. Compare valet. (Wiktionary)