Rabelaisian refers to a style of writing that is licentious and coarse, but also humorous and satirical. It was derived from French author Frangois Rabelais (1490-1553).
   Rabelais was a man who had a seemingly insatiable appetite for all the gutsy pleasures of life—food, drink, and love-making. He may have felt some restraint early in life because for a time he was a Franciscan monk and then a Benedictine monk. That restrictive phase of his life, however, did not last long, and his interest soon turned to medicine. As a physician, Rabelais was well-accepted and became well-known in his own country as well as in Italy for his humanism and enlightenment. But he was ever the foe of the establishment, an immutable enemy to the blindness and bigotry of the church and state. Throughout, he was a remarkably devoted scholar, and he published works on medicine and translations throughout his life.
   The immortality of Rabelais rests on his ribald writing, primarily his celebrated work Gargantua and Pantagruel. The hero Gargantua, despite his elephantine build, had a kindly heart and was a helpful and peaceloving giant. From him English acquired the word gargantuan, meaning enormous or gigantic.

Dictionary of eponyms. . 2013.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Rabelaisian — (adj.) 1817, from François Rabelais (c.1490 1553), whose writings are distinguished by exuberance of imagination and language combined with extravagance and coarseness of humor and satire. [OED] …   Etymology dictionary

  • Rabelaisian — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ of or like the French satirist François Rabelais (c.1494 1553) or his writings, especially in being characterized by exuberant imagination and earthy humour …   English terms dictionary

  • Rabelaisian — [rab΄ə lā′zhən, rab΄ə lāzē ən] adj. of or like Rabelais or his works; broadly and coarsely humorous, satirical, etc …   English World dictionary

  • Rabelaisian — adjective Date: 1817 1. of, relating to, or characteristic of Rabelais or his works 2. marked by gross robust humor, extravagance of caricature, or bold naturalism …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Rabelaisian — /rab euh lay zee euhn, zheuhn/, adj. 1. of, pertaining to, or suggesting François Rabelais, whose work is characterized by broad, coarse humor and keen satire. n. 2. a person who admires or studies the works of Rabelais. [1855 60; RABELAIS + IAN] …   Universalium

  • Rabelaisian — adjective Pertaining to the works of . Specifically, it means a style of satirical humour characterized by exaggerated characters and coarse jokes …   Wiktionary

  • Rabelaisian — Synonyms and related words: Fescennine, abusive, bawdy, blasphemous, blue, calumniatory, calumnious, caustic, comminatory, contumelious, cursing, cynical, damnatory, denunciatory, dirty, dry, dysphemistic, epithetic, excommunicative,… …   Moby Thesaurus

  • rabelaisian — Rab·e·lai·si·an || ‚ræbÉ™ leɪzɪən adj. pertaining to Francois Rabelais or his work (French writer) …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Rabelaisian — [ˌrabə leɪzɪən] adjective of or like the French satirist François Rabelais (c.1494–1553) or his writings; marked by exuberant imagination and earthy humour …   English new terms dictionary

  • rabelaisian — rab·e·lai·si·an …   English syllables

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