Definitions

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

  • n. A villain; a rogue.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. one without honor; a villain

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A mean, worthless fellow; a rascal; a villain; a man without honor or virtue.
  • adj. Low; base; mean; unprincipled.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A base, mean, worthless fellow; a rascal; a low villain; a man without honor or virtue.
  • n. Synonyms Knave, rogue, cheat, swindler, sharper.
  • Belonging to or characteristic of a scoundrel; base; mean; unprincipled.

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

  • n. a wicked or evil person; someone who does evil deliberately

Etymologies

Origin unknown.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Possibly related to northern English or Scottish scunner: "to shrink back in fear or loathing" (Encyclopædia Britannica 1911). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Berthiers intrigue for him: -- old Foulon, who has now nothing to do but intrigue; who is known and even seen to be what they call a scoundrel; but of unmeasured wealth; who, from Commissariat-clerk which he once was, may hope, some think, if the game go right, to be Minister himself one day.

    The French Revolution

  • Thomas Jefferson said the first act of a scoundrel is to wrap himself in the flag.

    Strickland: 'I feel very secure here in Ohio'

  • Whether I'm zealot or scoundrel is beside the point.

    Behe Responds

  • Certainly this scoundrel is not the first to think M.

    M. Christian Has an Evil Doppelganger « Skid Roche

  • The last refuge of a scoundrel is to change discussion to absolutes that have never stated by anyone to make a point.

    Protesters Demand UVa Contractors Living Wage at cvillenews.com

  • I haven't a thought that didn't come from my father; not a passion that didn't come from my mother; and now this last -- this about all human creatures being equal -- I got that from him, my fiancé -- whom I call a scoundrel for that reason!

    Plays by August Strindberg, Second series

  • But M. Fortunat, in whose heart the word scoundrel was still rankling, stopped him.

    The Count's Millions

  • "If you apply the word scoundrel to Captain O'Brien, sir, in his name I contradict it."

    Peter Simple

  • Using the Smuggler as an example, you could choose to configure the cowboy opportunist as a "scoundrel" - a short-range stealth rogue, skilled in medicine - or a

    Eurogamer

  • If this scoundrel was a Republican the article would have written in BOLD letters GOP Senator from Montana.

    Baucus spokesman confirms Hanes pay raise

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