[hyoo-guh-not or, often, yoo-]


a member of the Reformed or Calvinistic communion of France in the 16th and 17th centuries; a French Protestant.

Origin of Huguenot

1555–65; < French, perhaps blend of Hugues (name of a political leader in Geneva) and eidgenot, back formation from eidgenots, Swiss variant of German Eidgenoss confederate, literally, oath comrade
Related formsHu·gue·not·ic, adjectiveHu·gue·not·ism, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for huguenots

Historical Examples of huguenots

British Dictionary definitions for huguenots



a French Calvinist, esp of the 16th or 17th centuries


designating the French Protestant Church
Derived FormsHuguenotic, adjectiveHuguenotism, noun

Word Origin for Huguenot

C16: from French, from Genevan dialect eyguenot one who opposed annexation by Savoy, ultimately from Swiss German Eidgenoss confederate; influenced by Hugues, surname of 16th-century Genevan burgomaster
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 huguenots


1562, from Middle French Huguenot, according to French sources originally political, not religious. The name was applied in 1520s to Genevan partisans opposed to the Duke of Savoy (who joined Geneva to the Swiss Confederation), and it is probably an alteration of Swiss German Eidgenoss "confederate," from Middle High German eitgenoze, from eit "oath" + genoze "comrade" (related to Old English geneat "comrade, companion"). The form of the French word probably altered by association with Hugues Besançon, leader of the Genevan partisans. In France, applied generally to French Protestants because Geneva was a Calvinist center.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

huguenots in Culture



French Protestants of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, who were frequently persecuted by the government and by the Roman Catholic Church. For a time, the Edict of Nantes allowed them to practice their religion in certain cities. When the edict was revoked by King Louis xiv in the late seventeenth century, many Huguenots left France. Some emigrated to America.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.