scal·​a·​wag | \ ˈska-li-ˌwag How to pronounce scalawag (audio) \
variants: or

Definition of scalawag

2 : a white Southerner acting in support of the reconstruction governments after the American Civil War often for private gain

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Examples of scalawag in a Sentence

a scalawag who had taken to begging on street corners while posing as a blind person
Recent Examples on the Web Louisville’s Brown-Forman is accusing rum-peddling partner Bacardi of being a scalawag. Alfred Miller, The Courier-Journal, 1 July 2020 The Old West has been larger than life ever since the first dime novelists made legends out of lawmen, outlaws, and assorted frontier scalawags. Patricia Harris,, 20 Aug. 2019 Mark Twain's Mississippi, alive with steamboats, scalawags, and gamblers, has a hold on us still. CBS News, 7 July 2019 Salvatore Lodi made his debut as Little Mouse, while Kellan Hayag was a floppy-haired, scampering scalawag Fritz. Laura Bleiberg,, 11 Dec. 2017 Back on their own ship, the scalawags must decide how to divvy up the booty. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, 23 Feb. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'scalawag.' 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 scalawag

circa 1848, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for scalawag

origin unknown

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Time Traveler for scalawag

Time Traveler

The first known use of scalawag was circa 1848

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Cite this Entry

“Scalawag.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for scalawag



English Language Learners Definition of scalawag

: a usually young person who causes trouble : rascal


variants: or scallywag \ ˈska-​li-​ˌwag \

Kids Definition of scalawag

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