Definitions

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

  • n. Archaic A crowd of attendants or menials.
  • n. Archaic A disorderly crowd; a rabble.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The rabble; the crowd; the mob.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The rabble; the crowd; the mob.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The rabble; the crowd; the mob.

Etymologies

Compare Old French valeterie, "young unmarried nobles". (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The modern magazine reader is a member of the new bourgeois varletry, the monied class that makes the old nouveau riche look like aristocracy.

    Chance Abutmenting (a counter-critique of Peter Schjeldahl)

  • She'll not be “chastised with the sober eye of dull Octavia,” nor shown “to the shouting varletry of censuring Rome.”

    The Man Shakespeare

  • Scarcely were we concealed than the varletry of Theophilus burst into our laura.

    Gathering Clouds: A Tale of the Days of St. Chrysostom

  • Shakespeare to glorify the name of Cranmer or to deify the names of the queen then dead and the king yet living, it is but natural that he should be induced by an unconscious bias or prepossession of the will to depreciate the worth of the verse sent on work fitter for ushers and embalmers and the general valetry or varletry of Church and State.

    A Study of Shakespeare

  • The excitement of the varletry in the square, they say, was fearful to hear.

    The Amazing Marriage — Volume 1

  • 'I will go and fright the varletry with my presence, and secure, I trust, a horse for Your Majesty, and one for myself.'

    The Princess and Curdie

  • With friendly arm, they rais'd us: nathlefs fome Among our old and ftubborn fwains mifdeem'd,, nd envy'd, who enrich'd them; envy'd thofe, hofe virtues taught the varletry of towns To ufeful toil to turn the pilfering hand.

    The works of the English poets; with prefaces, biographical and critical

  • "chastised with the sober eye of dull Octavia," nor shown "to the shouting varletry of censuring Rome."

    The Man Shakespeare

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

Comments

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