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 (kə-nī′, -nāl′)
n. Derogatory
The common people; the masses.

[French, from Italian canaglia, pack of dogs, rabble, from cane, dog, from Latin canis; see kwon- in Indo-European roots.]


the masses; mob; rabble
[C17: from French, from Italian canaglia pack of dogs]


(kəˈnaɪ, -ˈneɪl)

riffraff; rabble.
[1670–80; < French < Italian canaglia pack of dogs < Latin canis]


 the rabble; a mob; the lowest class of people, 1676.
Example: canaille of miscreants, 1680.
References in classic literature ?
It is the educated, the intelligent, the wealthy, the refined, who ought to have equal rights and not the canaille.
If you can keep the canaille of that opinion," said Augustine.
You see all the canaille are in the hands of their owners, while we, the elite of pocket- handkerchiefs, are left here in a corner, like so many cloaks.
I have had no opportunity to find out any thing about the upper classes by my own observation, but from what I hear said about them I judge that what they lack in one or two of the bad traits the canaille have, they make up in one or two others that are worse.
Surely there is nothing in the canaille to recommend it to your aesthetic soul.
The genial disdain of Michel Rollin, who called them impostors, was answered by him with vituperation, of which crapule and canaille were the least violent items; he amused himself with abuse of their private lives, and with sardonic humour, with blasphemous and obscene detail, attacked the legitimacy of their births and the purity of their conjugal relations: he used an Oriental imagery and an Oriental emphasis to accentuate his ribald scorn.
Republican ideas are the first error of youth which seeks for liberty; later it finds it the worst of despotisms,--that of an impotent canaille.
le me mis a courir, a courir comme un fou, le long de la route en passant devant les huttes oo la canaille jaune se pressait etonnee, pour voir un Blanc, un Monsieur, le Docteur courir.
If New York's canaille ever thought we pulled the strings, the Rocky-Harriman gubernatorial tilt set us straight.
Elle affirme en Gilberte celle qui fut des l'origine femme de desir, animee d'une libido canaille qui transgressait son statut bourgeois puis aristocratique (mais cette sorte de disjonction du social et du sexuel n'a rien d'exceptionnel dans la Recherche).
Yet Barres also adds a qualification, noting that "aujourd'hui seuls les moins estimables et les plus debiles s'obstinent a rEver la vie romantique, aventuriere et canaille de Rastignac" (1).
followed by a divertissement of a poet and improvisateur who did tout rimer--the company supplied him for his last epreuve with about 14 or 16 words--rhymes masculine and feminine--mitraille, canaille, volcan, encore ending with baigneur and bonheur, which gave him the opportunity--the subject by the way being given him after the rhymes, viz.