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[lan-ser, lahn-] /ˈlæn sər, ˈlɑn-/
a cavalry soldier armed with a lance.
Origin of lancer
From the Middle French word lancier, dating back to 1580-90. See lance1, -er2 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for lancer
Historical Examples
  • The lancer behind me gained on me every moment, and I could hear his horrid laugh as he neared me.

    Burlesques William Makepeace Thackeray
  • Stevenson was yet speaking when a lancer was seen approaching at a wild gallop.

    Blue Lights R.M. Ballantyne
  • How right I was not to believe in that story about the lancer!

    Les Misrables Victor Hugo
  • I have made this hussar grasp a lancer by the throat, and thrust a sword into his side.

    Ralph Wilton's weird Mrs. Alexander
  • Seeing himself thus suddenly disarmed, the lancer Colonel springs back shouting loudly for help.

    The Lone Ranche Captain Mayne Reid
  • In comes an old 17th lancer sergeant, and I tell him what has been done to my cartoon.

    An Autobiography Elizabeth Butler
  • Still leading my horse, I ran for a hundred yards by the side of the wall away from the spot where the lancer was watching.

    The Adventures of Gerard Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Too surprised to let go, the lancer followed his weapon from the saddle.

    Thy Rocks and Rills Robert Ernest Gilbert
  • Well, you must dress this lancer every morning in the same way.

  • Stein was at my very heels, and the lancer had already turned his horse.

    The Adventures of Gerard Arthur Conan Doyle
British Dictionary definitions for lancer


(formerly) a cavalryman armed with a lance
  1. a member of a regiment retaining such a title
  2. (plural; capital when part of a name): the 21st Lancers
See also lancers
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 lancer

1580s, "soldier armed with a lance," from French lancier, from Old French lance (see lance (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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