Knave(nv), n. [OE., boy, servant, knave, AS. cnafa boy, youth; cf. AS. cnapa boy, youth, D. knaap, G. knabe boy, knappe esquire, Icel. knapi, Sw. knape esquire, knfvel knave.] 1. A boy; especially, a boy servant. [Obs.] Wyclif. Chaucer.
O murderous slumber,Shak.
Lay'st thou thy leaden mace upon my boy
That plays thee music ? Gentle knave, good night.
2. Any male servant; a menial.
He's but Fortune's knave,Shak.
A minister of her will.
3. A tricky, deceitful fellow; a dishonest person; a rogue; a villain. "A pair of crafty knaves."
In defiance of demonstration, knaves will continue to proselyte fools.Ames.
"How many serving lads must have been unfaithful and dishonest before knave -- which meant at first no more than boy -- acquired the meaning which it has now !"
4. A playing card marked with the figure of a servant or soldier; a jack; as, the
knave of hearts.
Knave child, a male child. [Obs.] Chaucer.
Syn. -- Villain; cheat; rascal; rogue; scoundrel; miscreant.
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Tue 31st March 2020