or fu·si·leer



a member of a British regiment formerly armed with fusils.

Origin of fusilier

From French, dating back to 1670–80; see origin at fusil1, -ier2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for fusilier

Historical Examples of fusilier

  • The last I saw of the trenches was the tangled line on Fusilier Bluff.

  • The Fusilier had struck on that part of the sands named the Girdler.

    Battles with the Sea

    R.M. Ballantyne

  • A Fusilier officer was carried in on a stretcher and laid next to me.


    Edward G. D. Liveing

  • The emigrants were cared for in London by the owners of the Fusilier.

    Storm Warriors

    John Gilmore

  • The Fusilier was ultimately got off the Sands, but no vestige of the Demerara was ever again seen.

    Storm Warriors

    John Gilmore

British Dictionary definitions for fusilier



(formerly) an infantryman armed with a light musket
Also: fusileer
  1. a soldier, esp a private, serving in any of certain British or other infantry regiments
  2. (pl; cap. when part of a name)the Royal Welch Fusiliers

Word Origin for fusilier

C17: from French; see fusil 1
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 fusilier

1670s, "soldier armed with a musket," from French fusilier, from Old French fusil "musket," earlier "steel for a tinderbox," from Vulgar Latin *focilis (petra) "(stone) producing fire," from Latin focus "hearth," in Vulgar Latin "fire" (see focus (n.)). Retained by certain regiments of the British army that were formerly armed with fusils.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper