Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A thoroughly unprincipled person; a scoundrel.
  • noun A foul-mouthed person.
  • transitive verb To abuse verbally; revile.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To revile in scurrilous language.
  • To be, act, or talk like a blackguard; behave riotously.
  • noun In collective senses (properly as two words): The scullions and lowest menials connected with a great household, who attended to the pots, coals, etc., and looked after them when the household moved from one place to another.
  • noun A guard of attendants, black in color of the skin or dress, or in character.
  • noun The idle criminal class; vagabonds generally.
  • noun The vagabond children of great towns; “city Arabs,” who run errands, black shoes, or do odd jobs.
  • noun A man of coarse and offensive manners and speech; a fellow of low character; a scamp; a scoundrel.
  • Belonging to the menials of a household; serving; waiting.
  • Of bad character; vicious; vile; low; worthless: said of persons and things.
  • Scurrilous; abusive; befitting a blackguard: as,blackguard language.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun obsolete The scullions and lower menials of a court, or of a nobleman's household, who, in a removal from one residence to another, had charge of the kitchen utensils, and being smutted by them, were jocularly called the “black guard”; also, the servants and hangers-on of an army.
  • noun obsolete The criminals and vagrants or vagabonds of a town or community, collectively.
  • noun A person of stained or low character, esp. one who uses scurrilous language, or treats others with foul abuse; a scoundrel; a rough.
  • noun obsolete A vagrant; a bootblack; a gamin.
  • transitive verb To revile or abuse in scurrilous language.
  • adjective Scurrilous; abusive; low; worthless; vicious.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun dated A scoundrel; an unprincipled contemptible person; an untrustworthy person.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb subject to laughter or ridicule
  • noun someone who is morally reprehensible
  • verb use foul or abusive language towards

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

black +‎ guard

Examples

  • "Slegge is what you call a blackguard," cried Singh angrily.

    Glyn Severn's Schooldays

  • When a man has no longer anything but rags upon his body and vices in his heart, when he has arrived at that double moral and material degradation which the word blackguard characterizes in its two acceptations, he is ripe for crime; he is like a well-whetted knife; he has two cutting edges, his distress and his malice; so slang does not say

    Les Miserables

  • But if the victim was a blackguard, is the shooter entitled to claim provocation or self-defense or some other statutory excuse to reduce the charge to one of manslaughter or even a simple assault?

    The Famous Black-McKaig Trial

  • The man whom you call a blackguard -- I don't know why, for _he_ had not been destroying any defenceless person's property -- had had a scoundrelly trick played him, and I and some other fellows got up a subscription for him, as anyone with a spark of gentlemanly feeling would be inclined to do.

    Dr. Jolliffe's Boys

  • But now that this young blackguard is thoroughly outwitted, we may as well go, for our work here is done.

    Lady Molly of Scotland Yard

  • -- When a man has no longer anything but rags upon his body and vices in his heart, when he has arrived at that double moral and material degradation which the word blackguard characterizes in its two acceptations, he is ripe for crime; he is like a well-whetted knife; he has two cutting edges, his distress and his malice; so slang does not say a blackguard, it says un reguise.

    Les Miserables, Volume IV, Saint Denis

  • -- When a man has no longer anything but rags upon his body and vices in his heart, when he has arrived at that double moral and material degradation which the word blackguard characterizes in its two acceptations, he is ripe for crime; he is like a well-whetted knife; he has two cutting edges, his distress and his malice; so slang does not say a blackguard, it says un reguise.

    Les Misérables

  • Magistrates, priests, agents, middlemen, tax-gatherers, and tax-payers rush into print to abuse the 'blackguard' -- he is always the blackguard -- who invented the lie; and men upwards of ninety are quoted to show that so long as they could remember, there never was a man injured, nor a rick burned, nor a heifer hamstrung in the six baronies round!

    Lord Kilgobbin

  • "banauson" -- in plain English, blackguard; and we do not see how it can be called anything else, unless in the case of some utter brute in human form, to whom "there is no coenum, and therefore no obscoenum; no fanum, and therefore no profanum."

    Literary and General Lectures and Essays

  • But what's the virtue of reporting, if it stops short of calling a blackguard a blackguard?

    Marty Kaplan: All the News That's Fit to Neuter

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