Definition of canaille in English:


Pronunciation /kəˈnɑːi/ /kanaj/


derogatorythe canaille
  • The common people; the masses.

    ‘the haughty contempt of a grandee sneering at the canaille’
    • ‘Brummell did the reverse, reinforcing exclusivism in the coming age of industry, teaching the upper classes to rely on cut to distinguish themselves from the canaille.’
    • ‘Of course, a separate competition will have to be mounted for politicians, who cannot fairly be allowed to tilt with common canaille.’
    • ‘All social institutions have been adapted to suit the prejudices of a canaille debased beyond any degeneracy that our forefathers could have imagined.’
    • ‘The tradition of Richelieu has today been inherited by a republican canaille that is wholly lacking the finesse of the ancien régime.’
    • ‘Lombroso's work was translated into French in 1887 and won the praise of Hippolyte Taine, who thought that the French Revolution was caused by a debauched and degenerate canaille.’
    rabble, scum, vermin, dregs, good-for-nothings, lowest of the low, underclass, the dregs, untouchables, the hoi polloi


French, from Italian canaglia ‘pack of dogs’, from cane ‘dog’.



/kəˈnɑːi/ /kanaj/