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miscreant

[mis-kree-uh nt] /ˈmɪs kri ənt/
adjective
1.
depraved, villainous, or base.
2.
Archaic. holding a false or unorthodox religious belief; heretical.
noun
3.
a vicious or depraved person; villain.
4.
Archaic. a heretic or infidel.
Origin of miscreant
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English < Middle French mescreant unbelieving, equivalent to mes- mis-1 + creantLatin crēdent- credent
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for miscreant
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • “It is a wonder that any honest man could be found to support that miscreant Laud,” I remember hearing my father say.

  • The heart of the miscreant swelled with indignation and disappointment.

    Gomez Arias Joaqun Telesforo de Trueba y Coso
  • Before the assembled band he charged the miscreant with treason, and, cutting his throat, disfigured his face beyond recognition.

    A Book of Scoundrels Charles Whibley
  • You are thinking, 'Here is the miscreant, the scoundrel, who destroyed our battleship!'

    The Destroyer Burton Egbert Stevenson
  • This livery of crime, after having clothed some miscreant, was now decaying on this desert shore.

  • What miscreant hero had dared perform this sacrilegious exploit?

    Tom, Dick and Harry Talbot Baines Reed
  • The miscreant had always had a lively sense of the power of money for evil; he saw it now in a new light--for he was penniless.

    Caesar's Column Ignatius Donnelly
British Dictionary definitions for miscreant

miscreant

/ˈmɪskrɪənt/
noun
1.
a wrongdoer or villain
2.
(archaic) an unbeliever or heretic
adjective
3.
evil or villainous
4.
(archaic) unbelieving or heretical
Word Origin
C14: from Old French mescreant unbelieving, from mes-mis-1 + creant, ultimately from Latin credere to believe
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 miscreant
adj.

c.1300, "non-Christian, pagan, infidel;" early 15c., "heretical, unbelieving," from Old French mescreant "disbelieving" (Modern French mécréant), from mes- "wrongly" (see mis- (2)) + creant, present participle of creire "believe," from Latin credere (see credit). Meaning "villainous" is from 1590s.

n.

late 14c., "heathen, Saracen," from miscreant (adj.) or from Old French mescreant, which also had a noun sense of "infidel, pagan, heretic." Sense of "villain" first recorded 1590 in Spenser.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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