noun, plural francs-ti·reurs [frahn-tee-rœr] /frɑ̃ tiˈrœr/. French.

a sharpshooter in the French army.

Origin of franc-tireur

First recorded in 1800–10 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for franc-tireur

Historical Examples of franc-tireur

  • 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.


    Robert W. Chambers

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


    Robert W. Chambers

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


    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?

British Dictionary definitions for franc-tireur



a sniper
a guerrilla or irregular soldier

Word Origin for franc-tireur

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

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