caitiff


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cai·tiff

 (kā′tĭf)
n.
A despicable coward; a wretch.
adj.
Despicable and cowardly.

[Middle English caitif, from Norman French, from Latin captīvus, prisoner; see captive.]

caitiff

(ˈkeɪtɪf)
n
a cowardly or base person
adj
cowardly; base
[C13: from Old French caitif prisoner, from Latin captīvus captive]

cai•tiff

(ˈkeɪ tɪf)
Archaic. n.
1. a base person; villain.
adj.
2. base; despicable.
[1250–1300; Middle English < Anglo-French < Latin captīvus captive]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.caitiff - a cowardly and despicable person
archaicism, archaism - the use of an archaic expression
cur - a cowardly and despicable person
Adj.1.caitiff - despicably mean and cowardly
cowardly, fearful - lacking courage; ignobly timid and faint-hearted; "cowardly dogs, ye will not aid me then"- P.B.Shelley
References in classic literature ?
I am Robin Hood, as thy caitiff carcase soon shall know.
It is only when he descends from the clouds to pounce upon carrion that he betrays his low propensities, and reveals his caitiff character.
Learn, caitiff, the expediency of uncalculating zeal.
By your dress you should be one of those cursed clerks who overrun the land like vile rats, poking and prying into other men's concerns, too caitiff to fight and too lazy to work.
What man would be so caitiff and thrall as to fail you at your need?
Of caitiff wretched thralls, that wailed night and day,
And will any one say that he is not a miserable caitiff who remorselessly sells his own divine being to that which is most godless and detestable?
But be it known to you, brave knights, that certain murderous caitiffs, casting behind them fear of God, and reverence of his church, and not regarding the bull of the holy see, Si quis, suadende Diabolo ''
Go water thy flowers, and think no more of these Athenian caitiffs, whom the Minotaur shall as certainly eat up for breakfast as I will eat a partridge for my supper.
He cared for his courtesy, lest a caitiff he proved, yet more for his sad case, if he should sin commit and to the owner of the house, to his host, be a traitor.