Definition of knave in English:



  • 1archaic A dishonest or unscrupulous man.

    • ‘Gentleman, you see, do not play cricket with knaves.’
    • ‘Due to my poor performance as a husband, father, and provider, I can claim the role of knave, or general ne'er-do-well.’
    • ‘In general, Winter seems to feel that most writers are either the ‘good guys’ or the knaves, and allows for very little middle ground.’
    • ‘Instead, according to the same Daily Record, he is a knave and a liar.’
    • ‘I'm glad he's going since IMO, the man is a fool and a knave.’
  • 2(in cards) a jack.


Old English cnafa ‘boy, servant’, of West Germanic origin; related to German Knabe boy.