PRONUNCIATION: vär' lĭt
NOUN: 1. An attendant or servant. 2. A knight's page. 3. A rascal; a knave.
ETYMOLOGY: Middle English, from Old French, variant of vaslet. See valet.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by the Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
1456, "servant, attendant of a knight," from M.Fr. varlet (14c.), variant of vaslet, originally "squire, young man," from O.Fr. vassal (see vassal). The meaning "rascal, rogue" is 1550.