pu·​gi·​list | \ ˈpyü-jə-list How to pronounce pugilist (audio) \

Definition of pugilist

: fighter especially : a professional boxer

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Examples of pugilist in a Sentence

a pugilist with the trademark of the boxing ring: a nose that showed signs of having been broken on more than one occasion

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Watching this play out in real time recalled reports about the early days of the Trump presidency, when competing factions would sneak provocative articles onto his desk in hopes of swaying his opinion and triggering his pugilist instincts. Jon Caramanica, New York Times, "The Battle for Kanye West Is Happening in Real Time," 2 May 2018 Even as black Americans celebrated the boxer's accomplishment, the federal government moved to make an example out of the pugilist. Phillip Morris, cleveland.com, "Remove the stain of Jack Johnson's conviction from history: Phillip Morris," 25 Apr. 2018 In appearance, he could be mistaken for a mixed-martial-arts fighter: closely shorn head, a pugilist’s nose, skin well moisturized, and all six feet of him poured into a slick Tom Ford suit. Joe Hagan, The Hive, "“The President May Be Able to Fire Mueller, but He Can’t Fire Me”: Stormy Daniels’s Attorney Relishes His Role as Trump Nemesis du Jour," 23 Mar. 2018 In the Trump era, that stark contrast between Republican pugilists and Democratic pacifiers has emerged in races around the country — from a House contest in Virginia to a state legislative race in Wisconsin to several top-tier Senate contests. Michael Scherer, Washington Post, "Election contrast in the Trump era: Republican pugilists vs. Democratic pacifiers," 10 Feb. 2018 Brendan Smith had been called for a roughing penalty after the first period ended, leading to a fight with an unlikely pugilist in forward Adrian Kempe and putting the Kings on special teams to start the second. USA TODAY, "Power play pushes Kings past Rangers 4-2 to end skid," 22 Jan. 2018 The bridal party consisted of Dempsey and Miss Taylor, Miss Helen Taylor, sister of the bride, Joe Benjamin, lightweight pugilist and protege of Dempsey, and Eddie Connor, Benjamin's manager. sandiegouniontribune.com, "Dempsey weds movie star at San Diego church," 8 Feb. 2018 After 10-plus seconds of gliding and posturing, Copley connected with an unimpressive right to start what quickly became an awkward if somewhat amusing wrestling match between gangly, padded pugilists. Dave Kallmann, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Two goaltenders dropped the gloves for a minor-league hockey fight," 18 Dec. 2017 Yet Arcade Fire can’t be compared to a traditional pugilist. Bill Brownlee, kansascity, "Arcade Fire packs a punch at a boxing-themed concert in Independence," 28 Oct. 2017

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

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First Known Use of pugilist

circa 1740, in the meaning defined above

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pugil stick



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Time Traveler for pugilist

The first known use of pugilist was circa 1740

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English Language Learners Definition of pugilist

old-fashioned + somewhat formal : a professional boxer

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


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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