from The Century Dictionary.

  • Like or characteristic of a rascal; base; mean; trickish; scampish: used of persons or things with much latitude, often with slight, meaning.

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

  • adjective Like a rascal; trickish or dishonest; base; worthless; -- often in humorous disparagement, without implication of dishonesty.

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

  • adjective Like a rascal.
  • adverb In the manner of a rascal.

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

  • adjective lacking principles or scruples
  • adjective playful in an appealingly bold way


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

rascal +‎ -ly


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word rascally.


  • For more than a year the army up the river ate 20 tons of flour daily, and it is easy to imagine how bitter amid ordinary circumstances would have been the battle between the commissariat officers, whose duty it was to insist on proper quality, and the contractors -- often, I fear, meriting the epithet 'rascally' -- intent only upon profit.

    The River War An Account of the Reconquest of the Sudan Winston S. Churchill 1919

  • It also contained what some have called the rascally, others the asinine propositions that the volume of currency should be made and kept equal to the wants of trade; that all National Bank circulation should be promptly and permanently retired, and legal tenders be issued in their stead, and that the payment of at least one-half of the customs should be in legal tenders.

    The Life, Public Services and Select Speeches of Rutherford B. Hayes James Quay Howard

  • As Fela explains, "If rascality is going to get us what we want, we will use it; because we are dealing with corrupt people, we have to be 'rascally' with them."

    John Feffer: Fela: Music Is Still the Weapon 2010

  • As Fela explains, "If rascality is going to get us what we want, we will use it; because we are dealing with corrupt people, we have to be 'rascally' with them."

    Fela: Music Is Still the Weapon 2010

  • Former senator William Proxmire awarded the project a Golden Fleece Award, and the late representative Silvio Conte once said that rather than spending millions to find "rascally" aliens, all one need do is pick up a supermarket tabloid.

    ET, PHONE US 2008

  • Right now raising that sum might not be at the top of his own agenda: he's trying to negotiate an end to a threatened uprising by "rascally" activists in his country's most strategically important region, the oil-rich Niger Delta.

    Promising Too Much? 2007

  • They were asked why they had not demanded of those "rascally" Indians that they explain why they were skinning a cow that did not belong to them.

    Crossing the Plains, Days of '57 A Narrative of Early Emigrant Tavel to California by the Ox-team Method

  • And as a final parry by anticipation to the objection that such comparison is "rascally," let it be said that nothing of the kind ever created any prejudice against the book in my case.

    A History of the French Novel, Vol. 2 To the Close of the 19th Century George Saintsbury 1889

  • I do not believe that our communities have got to that degree of depravity yet that such kind of rascally prudence is necessary to be exercised in making laws.

    History of Woman Suffrage, Volume II Matilda Joslyn Gage 1862

  • But, if the slave is the property of his employer, and becomes "rascally," the usual remedy is that which the veterinary surgeon recommended when he was called upon for advice how to cure a balky horse: "Sell him, my lord."

    A Journey in the Seaboard Slave States; With Remarks on Their Economy 1856


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

  • ...these rascally Asiatics were now in hot pursuit, to make up for their over-cautious delay.

    - Melville, Moby-Dick, ch. 87

    July 26, 2008