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Borrowed from French rocambolesque, in reference to Pierre Alexis Ponson du Terrail's character Rocambole.


rocambolesque (comparative more rocambolesque, superlative most rocambolesque)

  1. Fantastic, incredible, fabulous.
    a rocambolesque story
    • 2001, Chapter 14: Structure, Contingency, and Choice, Joan Wallach Scott, Debra Keates (editors), Schools of Thought: Twenty-five Years of Interpretive Social Science, Princeton University Press, page 267,
      Behind much of this were particular concrete New Left movements, some serious, some more rocambolesque.
    • 2004, Christopher Wood, Sincere Male Seeks Love and Someone to Wash His Underpants, Twenty First Century Publishers, page 18,
      Though not exactly seeking carpet slippers and the reassuring click of knitting needles he had envisaged a future rather less rocambolesque than the plot of the average Tarantino movie.
    • 2017, Matteo Salvadore, The African Prester John and the Birth of Ethiopian-European Relations, 1402—1555, Taylor & Francis (Routledge), page 121,
      The latter in particular was an unlikely candidate for what would turn out to be the most rocambolesque experiences in the entire history of the encounter.




From Pierre Alexis Ponson du Terrail's character Rocambole + -esque.


  • IPA(key): /ʁɔ.kɑ̃.bɔ.lɛsk/
  • (file)


rocambolesque (plural rocambolesques)

  1. fantastic, unusual, incredible, wacky
    Synonyms: incroyable, inimaginable, inouï, invraisemblable


  • English: rocambolesque
  • Italian: rocambolesco
  • Spanish: rocambolesco

Further reading[edit]