Definitions

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

  • n. A flamboyant swordsman or adventurer.
  • n. A sword-wielding ruffian or bully.
  • n. A dramatic or literary work dealing with a swashbuckler.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A swordsman or fencer, that engages in showy or extravagant sword play.
  • n. A daring adventurer.
  • n. A kind of period adventure story with flashy action and lighthearted tone.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A bully or braggadocio; a swaggering, boastful fellow; a swaggerer.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A swaggering blade; a bravo; a bully or braggadocio.

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

  • n. a reckless impetuous irresponsible person

Etymologies

Probably from the striking of bucklers in fighting.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • Hence, the 1560 word swashbuckler, “a swaggering ruffian,” defined now as the 2001 woman with the tough high-fashion attitude.

    The Right Word in the Right Place at the Right Time

  • I think the pleasure I derive from Conrad is largely due to the fact that while he liberates us with a magnificent jerk from the tiresome monotonous sedentary life of ordinary civilised people, he does so without assuming that banal and bullying air of the adventurous swashbuckler, which is so exhausting; without letting his intellectual interests be swamped by these physiological violences and by these wanderings into savage regions.

    Suspended Judgments Essays on Books and Sensations

  • He has the handsome face of an iconic and populist swashbuckler, which is Guevara the shell, but he also has the ability to carry himself as an aloof theorist of communist revolution, which is Guevara the seed.

    Daily Tar Heel RSS

  • He was a giant in stature, with a voice like a trumpet, and thews of steel; a mighty man in battle, a daring leader, yet cautious and sagacious withal; a man feared and beloved by those whom he led in warfare; a gay roysterer at other times, with as many strange oaths upon his lips as there are saints in the calendar; what the English call a swashbuckler and daredevil; a man whom one would little look to be led or guided by a woman, for he was impatient of counsel, and headstrong alike in thought and action.

    A Heroine of France

  • “Mole who blew whistle on MP expenses is a 'swashbuckler' with a £7million trail of debt”

    Sunday morning update 24th May

  • This was a fun panel as we explored the "swashbuckler" in movie and literature, moving on to the modern day SF icons--Dominic Flandry and Han Solo being two notable examples.

    Darlene's Digest

  • People of a certain age will remember growing up watching old Errol Flynn "swashbuckler" movies on television - and one of his most famous rolls - that of Robin Hood.

    Robin Hood

  • His personal chagrin showed itself in abuse of the bungling diplomats and 'swashbuckler' politicians who, according to him, had brought us into war.

    Elizabeth's Campaign

  • I suppose Shakeaspeare and the travel agents have done more than anybody else to give us our Technicolor view of Elizabethan England, starring the Queen herself as a kind of swashbuckler in pearls.

    Stilgherrian

  • Banker recalls Petters the 'swashbuckler'; widowed victim of scheme testifies

    Minneapolis Business News - Local Minneapolis News | The Minneapolis / St Paul Business Journal

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