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[frahn-tee-rœr] /frɑ̃ tiˈrœr/
noun, plural francs-tireurs
[frahn-tee-rœr] /frɑ̃ tiˈrœr/ (Show IPA).
a sharpshooter in the French army.
Origin of franc-tireur
First recorded in 1800-10 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for franc-tireur
Historical Examples
  • I see that yesterday a franc-tireur was tried for breaking his musket when ordered to march.

  • A footfall sounded on the dead leaves behind him, and a franc-tireur touched him on the shoulder.

    Lorraine Robert W. Chambers
  • Sure enough, around the bend in the road slunk a franc-tireur, loaded down with what appeared to be mail-sacks.

    Lorraine Robert W. Chambers
  • The franc-tireur nodded with a ghastly smile and glanced down at his dripping gunstock.

    Lorraine Robert W. Chambers
  • Is a peasant or franc-tireur to be allowed to endanger hundreds of those lives by removing a rail or laying a stone upon the line?

  • A franc-tireur fired at them point-blank, and the bullet whistled between them.

    Lorraine Robert W. Chambers
British Dictionary definitions for franc-tireur


a sniper
a guerrilla or irregular soldier
Word Origin
C19: from franc free + tireur shooter, from tirer to shoot, of unknown origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for franc-tireur

"sharpshooter of the irregular infantry," 1808, French, literally "free-shooter," from franc "free" (see frank) + tireur "shooter," from tirer "to draw, shoot" (see tirade). A term from the French Revolution.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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