caitiff

[key-tif] Archaic.
noun
1.
a base, despicable person.
adjective
2.
base; despicable.

Origin:
1250–1300; Middle English caitif < Anglo-French < Latin captīvus captive

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World English Dictionary
caitiff (ˈkeɪtɪf)
 
n
1.  a cowardly or base person
 
adj
2.  cowardly; base
 
[C13: from Old French caitif prisoner, from Latin captīvuscaptive]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

caitiff
c.1300, from O.N.Fr. caitive "captive, miserable" (O.Fr. chatif, 12c., Mod.Fr. chétif "puny, sickly, poor, weak"), from L. captivum (see captive, which was a later, scholarly borrowing of the same word). In most Romance languages, it has acquired a pejorative sense.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
It was for vengeance upon a caitiff knight, who had made her lover captive and despoiled her of her lands.
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