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Definition of "picaresque" [pic•a•resque]

  • Of or involving clever rogues or adventurers. (adjective)
  • Of or relating to a genre of usually satiric prose fiction originating in Spain and depicting in realistic, often humorous detail the adventures of a roguish hero of low social degree living by his or her wits in a corrupt society. (adjective)
  • One that is picaresque. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "picaresque" in a sentence
  • "At the moment, she is writing "another book, which seems to be coming as a succession of chapters that feel like stories", and which she refers to as the picaresque life story of a spiky, bold girl."
  • "Whilst the picaresque is certainly an excellent example of episodic narrative, it isn’t its only manifestation."
  • "Daniel Green has suggested that the picaresque is a form that has nearly been lost to contemporary fiction writers, and that we might be able to broaden our sense of what is or isn't a viable story if more writers were to experiment with it."