espiègle

adjective
es·​piè·​gle | \e-ˈspyeglᵊ \

Definition of espiègle 

Keep scrolling for more

Did You Know?

Espiègle is a corruption of Ulespiegle, the French name for Till Eulenspiegel, a peasant prankster of German folklore. Tales of Eulenspiegel's merry pranks against well-to-do townsmen, clergy, and nobility were first translated into French in 1532 and into English around 1560. In the 19th century, Sir Walter Scott introduced his readers to the adjective espiègle and the related noun espièglerie (a word for "roguishness" or "playfulness") in his Waverley novels. Other 19th century authors followed suit, and even today these words are most likely to be encountered in literature.

Examples of espiègle in a Sentence

the espiègle light in the young princess's eye faded when she contemplated the stifling restrictions of court life

First Known Use of espiègle

1816, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for espiègle

French, after Ulespiegle (Till Eulenspiegel), peasant prankster

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about espiègle

Listen to Our Podcast about espiègle

Dictionary Entries near espiègle

esperance

Esperanto

espial

espiègle

espièglerie

espier

espinillo

Statistics for espiègle

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for espiègle

The first known use of espiègle was in 1816

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on espiègle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for espiègle

Comments on espiègle

What made you want to look up espiègle? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

amusing and light sparring with words

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!