Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An inferior groom or lad employed by an esquire to carry the knight's arms and other necessaries; a coistrel.
  • n. A mean, paltry fellow; a coward.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An inferior groom or lad employed by an esquire to carry the knight's arms and other necessaries.
  • n. A mean, paltry fellow; a coward.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An inferior groom; a lad employed by the esquire to carry a knight's arms; hence, a mean paltry fellow.

Etymologies

Probably from Old French coustillier groom or lad. Compare custrel. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • When I hear such base, skeldering, coistril propositions come from the counsellors of your grace, and when I remember the Huffs, the Muns, and the Tityretu's by whom your grace's ancestors and predecessors were advised on such occasions, I begin to think the spirit of action is as dead in Alsatia as in my old grannam; and yet who thinks so thinks a lie, since I will find as many roaring boys in the Friars as shall keep the liberties against all the scavengers of Westminster.

    The Fortunes of Nigel

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