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ne'er-do-well

[nair-doo-wel] /ˈnɛər duˌwɛl/
noun
1.
an idle, worthless person; a person who is ineffectual, unsuccessful, or completely lacking in merit; good-for-nothing.
adjective
2.
worthless; ineffectual; good-for-nothing.
Origin
1730-1740
1730-40
Synonyms
1. idler, loafer, wastrel.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for ne'er do well

ne'er-do-well

noun
1.
an improvident, irresponsible, or lazy person
adjective
2.
useless; worthless: your ne'er-do-well schemes
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 ne'er do well

ne'er-do-well

n.

"one who is good for nothing," 1737, Scottish and northern English dialect, from contraction of phrase never do well. The adjective is first recorded 1773.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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