- a sharpshooter in the French army.
Origin of franc-tireur
First recorded in 1800–10
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for franc-tireur
I see that yesterday a Franc-tireur was tried for breaking his musket when ordered to march.Diary of the Besieged Resident in Paris
A footfall sounded on the dead leaves behind him, and a franc-tireur touched him on the shoulder.
Sure enough, around the bend in the road slunk a franc-tireur, loaded down with what appeared to be mail-sacks.
The franc-tireur nodded with a ghastly smile and glanced down at his dripping gunstock.
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?The Rise of Rail-Power in War and Conquest, 1833-1914
Edwin A. Pratt
- a sniper
- a guerrilla or irregular soldier
C19: from franc free + tireur shooter, from tirer to shoot, of unknown origin
Word Origin and History for franc-tireur
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper