scapegrace

play
noun scape·grace \ˈskāp-ˌgrās\

Definition of scapegrace

  1. :  an incorrigible rascal

Did You Know?

At first glance, you might think "scapegrace" has something in common with "scapegoat," our word for a person who takes the blame for someone else’s mistake or calamity. Indeed, the words do share a common source - the verb "scape," a variant of "escape" that was once far more common than it is today. "Scapegrace," which first appeared in English in the mid-18th century (over 200 years after "scapegoat"), arrived at its meaning through its literal interpretation as "one who has escaped the grace of God." (Two now-obsolete words based on a similar notion are scape-thrift, meaning "spendthrift," and "want-grace," a synonym of "scapegrace.") In ornithological circles, "scapegrace" can also refer to a loon with a red throat, but this sense is rare.

Origin and Etymology of scapegrace

1scape


First Known Use: 1763



Seen and Heard

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

WORD OF THE DAY

a trip made at another's expense

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ