(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.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


the masses; mob; rabble
[C17: from French, from Italian canaglia pack of dogs]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(kəˈnaɪ, -ˈneɪl)

riffraff; rabble.
[1670–80; < French < Italian canaglia pack of dogs < Latin canis]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


 the rabble; a mob; the lowest class of people, 1676.
Example: canaille of miscreants, 1680.
Dictionary of Collective Nouns and Group Terms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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." He pointed an accusing finger at the whiskey glass which the other was refilling.
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. Your poor niece is punished where she sinned."
Ah, canailles!" and the sword of D'Artagnan flashed from its sheath.
"You should stick to the gutter, canaille," he yells, and