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pugilist

[pyoo-juh-list] /ˈpyu dʒə lɪst/
noun
1.
a person who fights with the fists; a boxer, usually a professional.
Origin
1780-1790
1780-90; < Latin pugil (see pugilism) + -ist
Related forms
pugilistic, adjective
pugilistically, adverb
unpugilistic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Word Origin and History for pugilists'

pugilist

n.

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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