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rascal

[ras-kuh l] /ˈræs kəl/
noun
1.
a base, dishonest, or unscrupulous person.
2.
a mischievous person or animal:
That child is a real rascal.
Origin
1300-1350
1300-50; Middle English rascaile, raskaille < Old French rascaille rabble; perhaps akin to rash2
Related forms
rascallike, adjective
Synonyms
1. rapscallion, scamp, villain, miscreant, scapegrace. See knave.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for rascal
  • He has to be clever, since he's hardly the only rascal on board.
  • It is one of the quickest comeuppances for a rascal we've ever seen.
  • We had to laugh at the little rascal in spite of ourselves.
British Dictionary definitions for rascal

rascal

/ˈrɑːskəl/
noun
1.
a disreputable person; villain
2.
a mischievous or impish rogue
3.
an affectionate or mildly reproving term for a child or old man: you little rascal, the wicked old rascal kissed her
4.
(obsolete) a person of lowly birth
adjective
5.
(prenominal) (obsolete)
  1. belonging to the mob or rabble
  2. dishonest; knavish
Word Origin
C14: from Old French rascaille rabble, perhaps from Old Norman French rasque mud, filth
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 rascal
n.

mid-14c., rascaile "people of the lowest class, rabble of an army," also singular, "low, tricky, dishonest person," from Old French rascaille "rabble, mob" (12c., Modern French racaille, "the rascality or base and rascall sort, the scumme, dregs, offals, outcasts, of any company" [Cotgrave, French-English Dictionary, 1611]), perhaps a diminutive from Old French rascler, from Vulgar Latin *rasicare "to scrape" (see rash (n.)). Used also in Middle English of animals not hunted as game.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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