1

picaresque

play
adjective pi·ca·resque \ ˌpi-kə-ˈresk , ˌpē- \

Definition of picaresque

:of or relating to rogues or rascals; also :of, relating to, suggesting, or being a type of fiction dealing with the episodic adventures of a usually roguish protagonist
  • a picaresque novel

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Recent Examples of picaresque from the Web

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Did You Know?

Picaresque derives from Spanish picaresco, which means "of or relating to a picaro." What is a picaro? This word, which also derives from Spanish, means "rogue" or "bohemian." "Picaro" describes a type of character that has long been a popular subject for fictional narrative. Typically, the picaresque novel centers around a wandering individual of low standing who happens into a series of adventures among people of various higher classes, often relying on his wits and a little dishonesty to get by. The first known novel in this style is Lazarillo de Tormes (ca. 1554), an irreverent work about a poor boy who works for a series of masters of dubious character. The novel has been attributed to Diego Hurtado de Mendoza, but his authorship is disputable.

Origin and Etymology of picaresque

Spanish picaresco, from pícaro


2

picaresque

noun

Definition of picaresque

:one that is picaresque

Recent Examples of picaresque from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'picaresque.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of picaresque

1895


PICARESQUE Defined for English Language Learners

picaresque

play
adjective

Definition of picaresque for English Language Learners

  • : telling a story about the adventures of a usually playful and dishonest character



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