Caitiff

Cai"tiff

, n. A captive; a prisoner. [Obs.]
[1913 Webster]

Avarice doth tyrannize over her caitiff and slave.
Holland.
[1913 Webster]

2. A wretched or unfortunate man. [Obs.] Chaucer.
[1913 Webster]

3. A mean, despicable person; one whose character meanness and wickedness meet.
[1913 Webster]

The deep-felt conviction of men that slavery breaks down the moral character . . . speaks out with . . . distinctness in the change of meaning which caitiff has undergone signifying as it now does, one of a base, abject disposition, while there was a time when it had nothing of this in it. Trench.
[1913 Webster]

 

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Sun 16th December 2018