Definition of caitiff in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkeɪtɪf/


A contemptible or cowardly person: [as modifier]: a caitiff knight
More example sentences
  • Your only comfort lay in the forced reflection, that, real as he looked, the poor caitiff was but imaginary, a bit of painted canvass, whom no delirium tremens, nor so much as a retributive headache, awaited, on the morrow.
  • Peter is a caitiff who has risen to great heights politically: however, he is still a caitiff.
  • He has for several years been playing snarling caitiffs in the wave of crime plays.


Middle English (denoting a captive or prisoner): from Old French caitif 'captive', based on Latin captivus '(person) taken captive' (see captive).

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