One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1archaic A dishonest or unscrupulous man.
scoundrel, rogue, villain, rascal, good-for-nothing, wretch, ne'er-do-well, unprincipled person, reprobate, scapegrace, wrongdoer, evil-doer, charlatan, cheat, swindler, fraudsterView synonyms
- ‘Due to my poor performance as a husband, father, and provider, I can claim the role of knave, or general ne'er-do-well.’
- ‘Gentleman, you see, do not play cricket with knaves.’
- ‘Instead, according to the same Daily Record, he is a knave and a liar.’
- ‘In general, Winter seems to feel that most writers are either the ‘good guys’ or the knaves, and allows for very little middle ground.’
- ‘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’.
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