miscreant (adj.)

c. 1300, "non-Christian, misbelieving, pagan, infidel;" early 15c., "heretical, unbelieving," from Old French mescreant "disbelieving" (Modern French mécréant), from mes- "wrongly" (see mis- (2)) + creant, present participle of creire "believe," from Latin credere "to believe" (see credo). Meaning "villainous, vile, detestable" is from 1590s. Related: Miscreance; miscreancy.

miscreant (n.)

late 14c., "a heathen, a Saracen, a pagan, an unbeliever, a non-Christian," from miscreant (adj.) or from Old French mescreant, which had also a noun sense of "infidel, pagan, heretic." Sense of "villain, vile wretch, scoundrel" is first recorded 1590 in Spenser.

updated on March 30, 2022