Try Our Apps


Supposedly vs. Supposably


[pyoo-juh-list] /ˈpyu dʒə lɪst/
a person who fights with the fists; a boxer, usually a professional.
Origin of pugilist
1780-90; < Latin pugil (see pugilism) + -ist
Related forms
pugilistic, adjective
pugilistically, adverb
unpugilistic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for pugilist
Historical Examples
  • The month before he had broken the ribs and gouged out the eyes of a pugilist named Sixmileswater.

    The Man Who Laughs Victor Hugo
  • "I'm all ready," said Richard, throwing himself into the attitude of the pugilist.

    In School and Out Oliver Optic
  • The strong armed women, generally negresses, have the developed muscles of the pugilist and the daring of the pirate.

  • She had put on a blue bath-robe, and looked like a pugilist about to enter the ring.

    The Girl on the Boat Pelham Grenville Wodehouse
  • It was strange to hear him declaiming long speeches from Macbeth or Hamlet, and to think that he was by profession a pugilist.

    The White Feather P. G. Wodehouse
  • He set himself square like a pugilist, which was his notion of resistance.

    Phoebe, Junior Mrs [Margaret] Oliphant
  • Aside from those hands he more resembled a pugilist than a scientist.

  • Perhaps a pugilist would have said that the younger "heeled" the other.

    Footprints in the Forest Edward Sylvester Ellis
  • Certainly no one would have looked for a pugilist in this subdued old gentleman.

    Our Old Home, Vol. 2 Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • The muscularity, purchased by excessive nutriment, of the Bœotian pugilist.

Word Origin and History for pugilist

1789, from Latin pugil "boxer, fist-fighter," related to pugnus "a fist" (see pugnacious) + -ist. Related: Pugilistic (1789); pugilistically. Pugil occasionally turns up in English as "boxer, fist-fighter" (from 1640s), but it has not caught on. Pugil stick (1962) was introduced by U.S. military as a substitute for rifles in bayonet drills.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for pugilist

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for pugilist

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for pugilist