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Scaramouch

or Scaramouche

[skar-uh-mouch, -moosh] /ˈskær əˌmaʊtʃ, -ˌmuʃ/
noun
1.
a stock character in commedia dell'arte and farce who is a cowardly braggart, easily beaten and frightened.
2.
(lowercase) a rascal or scamp.
Origin of Scaramouch
1655-1665
1655-65; < French Scaramouche < Italian Scaramuccia, proper use of scaramuccia skirmish (applied in jest); of Germanic orig.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for scaramouche
Historical Examples
  • He completed changing in haste, and despite what scaramouche had said; and then followed with Rhodomont.

    Scaramouche Rafael Sabatini
  • "It is unfortunate that you are without a scaramouche," said Andre-Louis.

    Scaramouche Rafael Sabatini
  • He had overcome the difficulty in a manner worthy of scaramouche.

    Scaramouche Rafael Sabatini
  • scaramouche's bewildered paralysis lasted but a few seconds.

    Scaramouche Rafael Sabatini
  • No, my friend—scaramouche; scaramouche, the subtle, dangerous fellow who goes tortuously to his ends.

    Scaramouche Rafael Sabatini
  • Andre-Louis, still in the sable glories of scaramouche, stood forward.

    Scaramouche Rafael Sabatini
  • scaramouche laughed at him, and his laugh was not altogether pleasant.

    Scaramouche Rafael Sabatini
  • I will concede it, my dear scaramouche, so that I may hear the sequel.

    Scaramouche Rafael Sabatini
  • scaramouche was clearly a great gentleman, an eccentric if you please, but a man born.

    Scaramouche Rafael Sabatini
  • In fact I have no name, unless it be scaramouche, to which I have earned a title.

    Scaramouche Rafael Sabatini
British Dictionary definitions for scaramouche

Scaramouch

/ˈskærəˌmaʊtʃ; -ˌmuːtʃ/
noun
1.
a stock character who appears as a boastful coward in commedia dell'arte and farce
Word Origin
C17: via French from Italian Scaramuccia, from scaramuccia a skirmish
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for scaramouche
n.

1660s, name of a cowardly braggart (supposed by some to represent a Spanish don) in traditional Italian comedy, from Italian Scaramuccia, literally "skirmish," from schermire "to fence," from a Germanic source (cf. Old High German skirmen "defend"); see skirmish (n.). According to OED, a vogue word in late 17c. London due to the popularity of Italian actor Tiberio Fiurelli (1608-1694) in the part.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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