miscreant

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English myscreaunt, miscreaunt, from Old French mescreant (1080) "mis-believer", present participle of mescreire "to misbelieve" (modern mécroire).

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (UK, US) enPR: mĭsʹkrē-ənt, IPA(key): /ˈmɪs.kɹi.ənt/
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Adjective[edit]

miscreant (comparative more miscreant, superlative most miscreant)

  1. Lacking in conscience or moral principles; unscrupulous.
  2. (theology) Holding an incorrect religious belief.

Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

miscreant (plural miscreants)

  1. One who has behaved badly, or illegally.
    The teacher sent the miscreants to see the school principal.
  2. One not restrained by moral principles; an unscrupulous villain.
    • a. 1719, Joseph Addison, A Riddle of Dean Swift's verfified
      A meagre Catchpole hurries me to fail; No Miscreant, so remorseless, ever tore
      Thy Journals, Fog, or knock'd at Franklin's door
  3. (theology) One who holds a false religious belief; a misbeliever.
    • c. 1587–1588, [Christopher Marlowe], Tamburlaine the Great. [] The First Part [], part 1, 2nd edition, London: [] [R. Robinson for] Richard Iones, [], published 1592, OCLC 932920499; reprinted as Tamburlaine the Great (A Scolar Press Facsimile), Menston, Yorkshire; London: Scolar Press, 1973, →ISBN, Act III, scene iii:
      Now wil the Chriſtian miſcreants be glad,
      Ringing with ioy their ſuperſtitious belles:
      And making bonfires for my ouerthrow.
      But ere I die thoſe foule Idolaters
      Shall make me bonfires with their filthy bones, []
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, “Book I, Canto IV”, in The Faerie Queene. [], London: [] [John Wolfe] for William Ponsonbie, OCLC 960102938, stanza 41:
      Arise thou cursed Miscreaunt,
      That hast with knightlesse guile and trecherous train
      Faire knighthood fowly shamed
    • 1825, Thomas De Quincey, "The Love-charm", in Knight's Quarterly Magazine
      Before thine eyes, thou mild and blessed one, said he, half aloud, are these miscreants daring to hold their market, and trafficking in their hellish drugs

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