knave

/nayv/, n.
1. an unprincipled, untrustworthy, or dishonest person.
2. Cards. jack1 (def. 2).
3. Archaic.
a. a male servant.
b. a man of humble position.
[bef. 1000; ME; OE cnafa; c. G Knabe boy; akin to ON knapi page, boy]
Syn. 1. blackguard, villain, scamp, scapegrace. KNAVE, RASCAL, ROGUE, SCOUNDREL are disparaging terms applied to persons considered base, dishonest, or worthless. KNAVE, which formerly meant merely a boy or servant, in modern use emphasizes baseness of nature and intention: a dishonest and swindling knave. RASCAL suggests shrewdness and trickery in dishonesty: a plausible rascal.
A ROGUE is a worthless fellow who sometimes preys extensively upon the community by fraud: photographs of criminals in a rogues' gallery. A SCOUNDREL is a blackguard and rogue of the worst sort: a thorough scoundrel. RASCAL and ROGUE are often used affectionately or humorously (an entertaining rascal; a saucy rogue), but KNAVE and SCOUNDREL are not.
Ant. hero.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Knave — (n[=a]v), n. [OE., boy, servant, knave, AS. cnafa boy, youth; cf. AS. cnapa boy, youth, D. knaap, G. knabe boy, knappe esquire, Icel. knapi, Sw. knape esquire, kn[ a]fvel knave.] 1. A boy; especially, a boy servant. [Obs.] Wyclif. Chaucer. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Knave — may refer to:* Knave , a popular internet webcomic and card game * Knave (magazine), a British adult magazine *A male servant *A journeyman *Another name for the Jack in a deck of cards *An unprincipled, crafty person *Knave of Hearts (Alice s… …   Wikipedia

  • KNAVE — in Charta Anni 22. Henr. VII. Regis Angl. apud Henr. Spelmann. Ioh. fil. Vilhelmi Conper de Denby Knave, ad satifaciendum Regi etc. forte Armiger est. s. scuti famulus; samulum enim vox Saxonibus sonat. Vide Ian. Dolmer. ad Ius Aul. antiquum… …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • knave — [neıv] n [: Old English; Origin: cnafa boy, male servant ] 1.) BrE the playing card with a value between the ten and queen = ↑jack ▪ the knave of hearts →↑card1 (7) 2.) old fashioned a dishonest boy or man …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Knave — [neiv] der; s, s <aus gleichbed. engl. knave, dies aus altengl. cnafa »Knabe« (ahd. knabo)> engl. Bez. für Bube, Schelm; Bube im Kartenspiel …   Das große Fremdwörterbuch

  • knave — index criminal, hoodlum Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • knave — [ neıv ] noun count 1. ) an old word meaning a dishonest man 2. ) a JACK in card games ╾ knav|ish adjective: a knavish trick …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • knave — (n.) O.E. cnafa boy, male servant, common Germanic (Cf. O.H.G. knabo boy, youth, servant, Ger. knabe boy, lad, also probably related to O.E. cnapa boy, youth, servant, O.N. knapi servant boy, Du. knaap a youth, servant, M.H.G. knappe a young… …   Etymology dictionary

  • knave — *villain, scoundrel, blackguard, rascal, rogue, scamp, rapscallion, miscreant …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • knave — ► NOUN 1) archaic a dishonest or unscrupulous man. 2) (in cards) a jack. DERIVATIVES knavery noun knavish adjective. ORIGIN Old English, «boy, servant» …   English terms dictionary

  • knave — [nāv] n. [ME knaue < OE cnafa, boy, male child, akin to Ger knabe] 1. Archaic a) a serving boy or male servant b) a man of humble birth or status 2. a dishonest, deceitful person; tricky rascal; rogue 3. JACK (n …   English World dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.