caitiff







caitiff


noun

  1. a base, despicable person.

adjective

  1. base; despicable.

noun

  1. a cowardly or base person

adjective

  1. cowardly; base
adj.

c.1300, “wicked, base, cowardly,” from Old North French caitive “captive, miserable” (Old French chaitif, 12c., Modern French chétif “puny, sickly, poor, weak”), from Latin captivum (see captive, which was a later, scholarly borrowing of the same word). In most Romance languages, it has acquired a pejorative sense.

n.

c.1300, “wicked man, scoundrel,” from Anglo-French caitif, noun use from Old North French caitive “captive, miserable” (see caitiff (adj.)). From mid-14c as “prisoner.”

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