There are 2 main definitions of scamp in English:

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scamp1

Line breaks: scamp
Pronunciation: /skamp
 
/

noun

informal
1A person, especially a child, who is mischievous in a likeable or amusing way: some little scamp stuffed tissue paper in between the hammer and the bell
More example sentences
  • One of the main differences we'll find it in is the way the familiar angels and devils are caricatured in a innocent-looking style, but that's deceiving; they are scamps, mischievous and even violent characters.
  • While their classmates were courting concussion with head-banging, these young scamps would borrow equipment from electronic stores to ‘test them out’, use them to make music, then exchange them for different items.
  • While the uber-gathering is undoubtedly for a highly worthwhile cause, both Noel and Damon have raised their hands like cheeky classroom scamps and announced that they have a few ‘issues’ with the whole thing.
Synonyms
rascal, monkey, devil, imp, rogue, wretch, mischief-maker, troublemaker, prankster
British informal perisher, pickle
Irish informal spalpeen
Northern English informal tyke, scally
North American informal varmint, hellion
dated rip
2West Indian A wicked or worthless person; a rogue: that man was a scamp, a damn thief
More example sentences
  • In that way, it's more noble than a lot of these kinds of movies: you can make an honest man out of a scamp without making him less of a man.

Origin

mid 18th century (denoting a highwayman): from obsolete scamp 'rob on the highway', probably from Middle Dutch schampen 'slip away', from Old French eschamper. Early usage (still reflected in West Indian English) was derogatory.

More
  • Nowadays most scamps are children but in the 18th century a scamp was a much more serious proposition—a highwayman. In the 19th century the original sense moderated into ‘a swindler, cheat’, a derogatory use still in existence in Caribbean English. The word probably derives from early Dutch schampen ‘to slip away’. This may also be the source of scamper (late 17th century) although Italian scampare ‘decamp’ is an alternative source. The first recorded sense was ‘run away’. It was very common between 1687 and 1700, and may have been military slang.

Derivatives

scampish

1
adjective
Example sentences
  • Her little scampish voice made me giggle even though I couldn't understand half of what she was saying.
  • He met Ingrid Bergman in Paris in 1945, inviting her out to dinner with a typically scampish note.

Words that rhyme with scamp

amp, camp, champ, clamp, cramp, damp, encamp, gamp, lamp, ramp, samp, stamp, tamp, tramp, vamp

Definition of scamp in:

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There are 2 main definitions of scamp in English:

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scamp2

Line breaks: scamp
Pronunciation: /skamp
 
/

verb

[with object] dated
Do (something) in a perfunctory or inadequate way: she had scamped her work
More example sentences
  • This is the most interesting aspect of Harvey's story and it is unfortunately scamped.
  • Hence it has happened and will happen again, that work which has been undertaken at unremunerative rates has been ‘scamped’ to make it pay.

Origin

mid 19th century: perhaps the same word as scamp1, but associated in sense with the verb skimp.

More
  • Nowadays most scamps are children but in the 18th century a scamp was a much more serious proposition—a highwayman. In the 19th century the original sense moderated into ‘a swindler, cheat’, a derogatory use still in existence in Caribbean English. The word probably derives from early Dutch schampen ‘to slip away’. This may also be the source of scamper (late 17th century) although Italian scampare ‘decamp’ is an alternative source. The first recorded sense was ‘run away’. It was very common between 1687 and 1700, and may have been military slang.

Definition of scamp in:

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