What does caitiff mean?

Definitions for caitiff
ˈkeɪ tɪfcaitiff

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word caitiff.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. caitiffadjective

    a cowardly and despicable person

  2. caitiffadjective

    despicably mean and cowardly


  1. caitiffnoun

    A base or despicable person; a wretch

  2. caitiffnoun

    a captive or prisoner, particularly a galley slave

  3. caitiffnoun

    a villain, a coward or wretch

  4. caitiffadjective

    Especially despicable; cowardly

  5. Etymology: Old French caitif ‘captive’, a varient of chaitif (French chétif), from a Proto-Romance alteration of Latin captivus ‘captive’. Compare Italian cattivo, "bad, wicked."

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Caitiffnoun

    A mean villain; a despicable knave.

    Etymology: cattivo, Ital. a slave; whence it came to signify a bad man, with some implication of meanness; as knave in English, and fur in Latin; so certainly does slavery destroy virtue. Ἡμισυ τῆς ἀϱετῆς ἀϖοάινυται δούλιον ἤμαϱ. A slave and a scoundrel are signified by the same words in many languages.

    Vile caitiff, vassal of dread and despair,
    Unworthy of the common breathed air;
    Why livest thou, dead dog, a longer day,
    And dost not unto death thyself prepare? Fairy Queen, b. ii.

    ’Tis not impossible
    But one, the wicked’st caitiff on the ground,
    May seem as shy, as grave, as just, as absolute,
    As Angelo. William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure.

    The wretched caitiff, all alone,
    As he believ’d, began to moan,
    And tell his story to himself. Hudibras, p. iii. c. iii.


  1. caitiff

    A caitiff is a cowardly and despicable person, often considered contemptible or mean-spirited. The term originates from the Old French term "caitif", meaning captive or miserable. It is often used in literature or historical contexts.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Caitiffadjective

    captive; wretched; unfortunate

  2. Caitiffadjective

    base; wicked and mean; cowardly; despicable

  3. Caitiffnoun

    a captive; a prisoner

  4. Caitiffnoun

    a wretched or unfortunate man

  5. Caitiffnoun

    a mean, despicable person; one whose character meanness and wickedness meet

  6. Etymology: [OE. caitif, cheitif, captive, miserable, OF. caitif, chaitif, captive, mean, wretched, F. chtif, fr. L. captivus captive, fr. capere to take, akin to E. heave. See Heave, and cf. Captive.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Caitiff

    kā′tif, n. a mean despicable fellow.—adj. mean, base.—n. Cai′tive (Spens.), captive, subject. [O. Fr. caitif, (Fr. chétif)—L. captivus, a captive—cap-ĕre, to take.]

Etymology and Origins

  1. Caitiff

    An old term of contempt for a despicable person, derived from the Latin captivis, a captive, slave.

How to pronounce caitiff?

How to say caitiff in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of caitiff in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of caitiff in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9

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"caitiff." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 23 May 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/caitiff>.

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    pass through the tissue or substance or its pores or interstices, as of gas
    A emanate
    B render
    C transpire
    D abduct

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