Definition of cad
1 : a bus conductor
2 : a man who acts with deliberate disregard for another's feelings or rights <a selfish cad>
Examples of cad in a sentence
He is a cad, not a gentleman.
<he's the type of cad who readily bad-mouths every girl who's ever dumped him>
The origins of cad
You might wonder how the word cad came to refer to both a bus conductor and a disagreeable man. Were the bus drivers of yore thought to be particularly unsavory characters? Not necessarily, and there is a reasonable explanation for how we arrived at the most common meaning of this word today (that is, the one for a badly-behaved man).
In 18th-century Scotland, caddie had the meaning “one that waits about for odd jobs.” Shortened to cad, this word took on the additional senses “an unbooked coach passenger” (one who, presumably, waited about for a ride) and “an unskilled assistant or laborer.” The “unbooked passenger” meaning seems to have led to the “omnibus conductor” one. The “odd job-seeker” or “unskilled laborer” sense, for its part, developed into the “disagreeable man” sense at Oxford University, where students applied cad in a dismissive fashion to job-seeking townsmen whom they considered vulgar.
Origin and Etymology of cad
English dialect, unskilled assistant, short for Scots caddie
First Known Use: 1833
Definition of CAD
1 computer-aided design
CAD Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of cad for English Language Learners
: a rude and selfish man
Medical Definition of CAD
coronary artery disease
Seen and Heard
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