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[pyoo-juh-list] /ˈpyu dʒə lɪst/
a person who fights with the fists; a boxer, usually a professional.
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. 2014.
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Examples from the web for pugilistic
  • There were three bright stars of the pugilistic arena at the depot yesterday morning.
  • The actor has put together a decent record in his unofficial pugilistic career.
  • He gives up pugilistic glory to return home, where he tries to help his family out of a financial dilemma.
  • Although a prizefight is the pivotal point of interest, this film is more than a pugilistic yarn.
Word Origin and History for pugilistic



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
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