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[skoun-druh l] /ˈskaʊn drəl/
an unprincipled, dishonorable person; villain.
mean or base in nature; villainous; unprincipled; dishonorable.
Origin of scoundrel
1580-90; origin uncertain
1. scamp, rapscallion, miscreant. See knave. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for scoundrel
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I'll go straight to Mr. Mellish, and tell him what you've said, you scoundrel!

    Aurora Floyd, Vol. III (of 3) M. E. (Mary Elizabeth) Braddon
  • That scoundrel Corney has been about some mischief—damn him!

    Weighed and Wanting George MacDonald
  • It was thought the scoundrel had sailed for England under an assumed name.

    The Hills of Refuge Will N. Harben
  • Glendenning turned round and shouted, 'What do you mean by that, you scoundrel?'

  • Well, personally I fail to see why Fagin is any more of a scoundrel than some of these other fellows in gilt epaulets.

    My Lady of Doubt Randall Parrish
British Dictionary definitions for scoundrel


a worthless or villainous person
Derived Forms
scoundrelly, adjective
Word Origin
C16: of unknown origin
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 scoundrel

1580s, skowndrell, of unknown origin. One suggestion is Anglo-French escoundre (Old French escondre) "to hide, hide oneself," from Vulgar Latin *excondere, from Latin condere "to hide" (see abscond). The main objection to this theory is that hundreds of years lie between the two words.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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