schle·​miel | \ shlə-ˈmēl How to pronounce schlemiel (audio) \
variants: or less commonly

Definition of schlemiel

: an unlucky bungler : chump

Examples of schlemiel in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Like Woyzeck himself, Heather Chrisler's Helen hovers between antihero and schlemiel. Chicago Reader, "Gypsy, Machinal, and three more new theater reviews," 23 Aug. 2017

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

First Known Use of schlemiel

1868, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for schlemiel

Yiddish shlemil

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The first known use of schlemiel was in 1868

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Cite this Entry

“Schlemiel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Oct. 2020.

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