Definition of brigand in US English:



  • A member of a gang that ambushes and robs people in forests and mountains.

    • ‘‘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.’
    • ‘‘They looked like brigands to me,’ Kamaria huffed, ‘Common criminals looking to steal our gold.’’
    robber, raider, mugger
    bandit, robber, outlaw, ruffian, desperado, plunderer, marauder, raider, pillager, highwayman, criminal, thug, gangster, pirate, freebooter
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Late Middle English (also denoting an irregular foot soldier): from Old French, from Italian brigante, literally ‘(person) contending’, from brigare ‘contend’ (see brigade).