One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A boxer, especially a professional one.
boxer, fighter, prizefighter, sparring partnerView synonyms
- ‘We were nine USA Olympic Champion pugilists competing in the 1960 Rome Olympic Games.’
- ‘When Sonny did embark on a comeback he went to Europe and reeled off a series of wins against some non-threatening pugilists.’
- ‘The pint-sized pugilist carved a niche in the local professional fight game, a victory which catapulted him into the record books.’
- ‘While not the gritty young pugilists often associated with old-school boxing gyms such as Gleason's, the men exemplify the type of boxer who has become a mainstay of New York's traditional fight halls.’
- ‘Remember that if he wasn't playing football, Hall would be a professional pugilist and probably a bloody good one given that he can knock a player down, even when he didn't mean to throw the punch!’
Mid 18th century: from Latin pugil ‘boxer’ + -ist.
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