Lafayette, Marquis de

[ (lah-fee-et, laf-ee-et) ]

A French nobleman, political leader, and general of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Enthusiastic for the ideals of the American Revolutionary War, Lafayette served as a general in the American army during the Revolutionary War, fighting alongside his friend George Washington at the Battle of Yorktown and elsewhere. On returning to France, he was active in the early stages of the French Revolution.

Notes for Lafayette, Marquis de

A United States Army officer, speaking at the tomb of Lafayette after United States forces had arrived in support of France in World War I, said, “Lafayette, we are here.” He meant that the United States, in aiding France in the war, was returning the favor that Lafayette and the French had done for the United States in the Revolutionary War. The officer is sometimes identified as General John Pershing.

Words Nearby Lafayette, Marquis de

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.