n. pl. pi·ca·ros (-rōz′, -rōs′)
1. A rogue or adventurer. Also called picaroon.
2. The main character in a picaresque work when that character is a man or boy.
[Spanish pícaro, perhaps from picar, to prick, from Vulgar Latin *piccāre; see PIQUE.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.