scaramouch

noun scar·a·mouch \ ˈsker-ə-ˌmüsh , ˈska-rə- , -ˌmüch , -ˌmau̇ch \
variants: or scaramouche

Definition of scaramouch

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

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

Recent Examples of scaramouch from the Web

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

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


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

to suppress quietly or indirectly

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one-green-toy-robot-amidst-many-red-toy-robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!