noun scar·a·mouch \ˈskar-ə-ˌmüsh, -ˌmüch, -ˌmau̇ch\
variants: or


Definition of scaramouch

  1. 1 capitalized :  a stock character in the Italian commedia dell'arte that burlesques the Spanish don and is characterized by boastfulness and cowardliness

  2. 2a :  a cowardly buffoonb :  rascal, scamp

scaramouch was our Word of the Day on 08/10/2012. Hear the podcast!

Did You Know?

In the commedia dell'arte, Scaramouch was a stock character who was constantly being cudgeled by Harlequin, which may explain why his name is based on an Italian word meaning "skirmish," or "a minor fight." The character was made popular in England during the late 1600s by the clever acting of Tiberio Fiurelli. During that time, the name "Scaramouch" also gained notoriety as a derogatory word for "a cowardly buffoon" or "rascal." Today not many people use the word (which can also be spelled "scaramouche"), but you will encounter it while listening to Queen's ubiquitous rock song "Bohemian Rhapsody," in the lyric "I see a little silhouetto of a man / Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the fandango?"

Origin and Etymology of scaramouch

French Scaramouche, from Italian Scaramuccia, from scaramuccia skirmish

First Known Use: 1662

Seen and Heard

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a brief usually trivial fact

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