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poilu

[ pwah-loo; French pwa-ly ]

noun

, plural poi·lus [pwah, -looz, pw, a, -, ly].
  1. a French common soldier.


poilu

/ ˈpwɑːluː; pwaly /

noun

  1. an infantryman in the French Army, esp one in the front lines in World War I


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Word History and Origins

Origin of poilu1

1910–15; < French, in earlier slang: tough individual, tough, brave, literally, hairy, haired; Middle French, Old French pelu ( plew ) < Vulgar Latin *pilūtus, equivalent to Latin pil ( us ) hair + Vulgar Latin *-ūtus, for Latin -ātus -ate 1 ( e > oi by influence of poil hair < Latin pilus )
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Word History and Origins

Origin of poilu1

C20: from French, literally: hairy (that is, virile), from poil hair, from Latin pilus a hair
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Example Sentences

The captain in charge called my attention to a French poilu.

Entering the Judgment Hall, the Poilu is bewildered by its austerity and splendour.

He was a little poilu, hardly more than a boy, who had been left behind, too wounded to carry away.

The gravel cried out; a shadow fell between us, and a poilu stood at attention.

Pre Glorieux,—he drew out his pocketbook and handed it to the poilu,—you will find here the address of my mother.

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poilpoimenics