Definition of scoundrel in US English:



  • A dishonest or unscrupulous person; a rogue.

    • ‘The athletes who take drugs to gain a secret advantage over those who obey the rules are cheats and scoundrels.’
    • ‘Hypocrites, cranks and scoundrels have always been with us, on both sides of the aisle.’
    • ‘Children must be removed from these scoundrels as early as possible and be taught correct facts and values by Party-approved professionals.’
    • ‘A few scoundrels will toss bags into a lane or a ditch (or sneak them out to their neighbour's curb).’
    • ‘It was clearly a haven for thieves, pickpockets, scoundrels, and worse.’
    • ‘Thankfully the little scoundrels dropped Lucky and apologised before running off, but still - why try and steal my old cat?’
    • ‘How long must the majority of the Scottish people continue to elect such deceitful scoundrels and charlatans who masquerade as champions of the working class in our country?’
    • ‘His report denouncing the investment world as a pack of scoundrels was met with jubilation in many quarters.’
    • ‘Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled.’
    • ‘Sad to say, it might take more than a mere honest election to remove the scoundrels.’
    • ‘In a sense we're learning that perhaps the Feds are getting tough on these corporate scoundrels.’
    • ‘Blaming the masses for electing ‘rogues, scoundrels and even worse’ to power, it went on to express no confidence in any of the political parties.’
    • ‘For all the trouble the scoundrels had imposed upon us, my rage was aimed at this one man who had caused the worst of my own experience.’
    • ‘He presents his advisors and confidantes as ignorant dupes at best and scoundrels at worst.’
    • ‘But patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel - especially a scoundrel facing electoral decimation within months!’
    • ‘These scoundrels succeed in politics only on the basis of their guile, their cunning, or basically their ability to delude people into falling in line with the rhetoric they throw up.’
    • ‘For avoiding all the rhetoric and telling the naked truth, they have sacked me… those scoundrels!’
    • ‘The popular appreciation is that our politicians are scoundrels and rascals and therefore interesting.’
    • ‘His book is populated with scoundrels, megalomaniacs, psychopaths, manipulators and sadists - people he happens to find interesting.’
    • ‘That did not stop all sorts of scoundrels from defaming us.’
    rogue, rascal, good-for-nothing, reprobate, unprincipled person
    View synonyms


Late 16th century: of unknown origin.