One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A member of a gang that ambushes and robs people in forests and mountains.
robber, raider, muggerbandit, robber, outlaw, ruffian, desperado, plunderer, marauder, raider, pillager, highwayman, criminal, thug, gangster, pirate, freebooterView synonyms
- ‘‘They looked like brigands to me,’ Kamaria huffed, ‘Common criminals looking to steal our gold.’’
- ‘‘He was a brigand, impostor and forger,’ he says.’
- ‘They are yesteryear's forest brigands who have turned protectors.’
- ‘In addition to the problem of local brigands, enemy raids were a hazard until the peace of 1699.’
- ‘This was a reference to the place's reputation in the past as a dangerous spot for highwaymen and brigands.’
Late Middle English (also denoting an irregular foot soldier): from Old French, from Italian brigante, literally ‘(person) contending’, from brigare ‘contend’ (see brigade).
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