Definitions

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

  • adj. Sinful; guilty.
  • adj. Violating a rule or an accepted practice; erring.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. unhealthy; causing disease
  • adj. sinful
  • n. An offender.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Sinning; guilty of transgression; criminal.
  • adj. Morbid; corrupt.
  • adj. Wrong; defective; faulty.
  • n. An offender.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Sinning; offending; guilty; causing offense.
  • Morbid; bad; corrupt; not healthy.
  • Imperfect; erroneous; incorrect: as, a, peccant citation.
  • n. An offender.

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

  • adj. liable to sin

Etymologies

Latin peccāns, peccant-, present participle of peccāre, to sin; see ped- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Latin peccāns, peccantis (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Nothing is safe from this porcelain peccant pilferer, this corrupt criminal crockery, for the moment you turn your back, this amazing Ash Tray will abscond with all your electronic posessions and sell them on ebay.

    Mug with a Message | Engrish.com

  • Yesterday, he by severe cross-examination extracted from Lord MORLEY admission of personal knowledge of what are known as the peccant paragraphs in document handed on behalf of War Office to General GOUGH.

    Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 146, April 8, 1914

  • If a person has an abscess, the medical man will say that it contains "peccant" matter, and people say that they have a "bad" arm or finger, or that they are very "bad" all over, when they only mean "diseased."

    Erewhon; or, Over the range

  • It also tapped into the lighter side of the dour-looking Mr. Safire: a Pickwickian quibbler who gleefully pounced on gaffes, inexactitudes, neologisms, misnomers, solecisms and perversely peccant puns, like "the president's populism" and "the first lady's momulism."

    Gershon Hepner: William Safire

  • The peccant cat follows me into the kitchen meowing constantly.

    2009 April

  • The Timesobit is written strongly enough in the Safire style--in one case he's described as "a Pickwickian quibbler who gleefully pounced on gaffes, inexactitudes, neologisms, misnomers, solecisms and perversely peccant puns"--that it makes you wonder if he drafted it himself.

    William Safire, 1929-2009

  • The tattle of society did its best to place the peccant husband above the suffering wife.

    My Aunt Margaret's Mirror

  • My worry is that Obama, who appeals to the best of our nature, and to the transformative power of government, lives in a fantasy world, disconnected from the peccant realities of what it takes to get things done in Washington.

    David Matthews: Obama is full of it. Hope, I mean.

  • In photographing and videotaping Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen while they walked the streets of Paris, notoriously peccant paparazzi agency X17 may have broken French and international law.

    The French Remember Princess Diana & Try To Save MK Olsen | Best Week Ever

  • Gavendum hic diligenter a, multum, calefacientibus, atque exsiccantibus, sive alimenta fuerint haec, sive medicamenta: nonnulli enim ut ventositates et rugitus conpescant, hujusmodi utentes medicamentis, plurimum peccant, morbum sit augentes: debent enim medicamenta declinare ad calidum vel frigidum secundum exigentiam circumstantiarum, vel ut patiens inclinat ad cal. et frigid.

    Anatomy of Melancholy

Comments

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  • In Canto XV of Don Juan, Byron lists all the foods served at a sumptuous dinner. At one point, he breaks off to say of his Muse:

    But though a 'bonne vivante,' I must confess
         Her stomach 's not her peccant part; this tale
    However doth require some slight refection,
    Just to relieve her spirits from dejection.

    Presumably, in Byron's case, the "peccant part" of his Muse was located a few inches lower than the stomach.

    June 8, 2013

  • "'As I thought, it is your liver that is the peccant part; or at least the most peccant of your parts.'"
    --O'Brian, The Truelove, 15

    March 9, 2008

  • Gosh, fbharjo, I just was not putting mendicant together with mendacious -- I was thinking of the wandering ascetic definition of it, mendicant monk, like.

    September 24, 2007

  • mendicant's etymology is fascinating and amazingly parallel to peccant---

    1616, from M.Fr. mendacieux, from L. mendacium "a lie," from mendax (gen. mendacis) "lying, deceitful," related to menda "fault, defect, carelessness in writing" (cf. amend, mendicant), from PIE base *mend- "physical defect, fault." The sense evolution of mendax influenced by mentiri "to speak falsely, lie, deceive." Mendacity is attested from 1646.


    A mendicant is finding a blemish in whom - himself or in the potential giver???

    September 23, 2007

  • not even a little! from the OED:

    1. a. Unhealthy, corrupt, diseased; causing disease. Formerly esp. of a bodily humour. Now arch. and hist.

    2. a. Of a person or other agent: that commits or has committed a sin or an offence; sinning, offending; culpable.

    b. Of an action or thing: offensive; sinful.

    September 21, 2007

  • as in mendicant???

    September 21, 2007