[ sanz-kyoo-lot, -koo-; French sahn-ky-lawt ]
/ ˌsænz kyʊˈlɒt, -kʊ-; French sɑ̃ küˈlɔt /

noun, plural sans-cu·lottes [sanz-kyoo-lots, -koo-; French sahn-ky-lawt] /ˌsænz kyʊˈlɒts, -kʊ-; French sɑ̃ küˈlɔt/.

(in the French Revolution) a revolutionary of the poorer class: originally a term of contempt applied by the aristocrats but later adopted as a popular name by the revolutionaries.
any extreme republican or revolutionary.

Origin of sans-culotte

1780–90; < French: literally, without knee breeches

Related forms

sans-cu·lot·tic [sanz-kyoo-lot-ik, -koo-] /ˌsænz kyʊˈlɒt ɪk, -kʊ-/, adjectivesans-cu·lot·tish, adjectivesans-cu·lot·tism, nounsans-cu·lot·tist, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sans-culotte

British Dictionary definitions for sans-culotte


/ (ˌsænzkjʊˈlɒt, French sɑ̃kylɔt) /


(during the French Revolution)
  1. (originally) a revolutionary of the poorer class
  2. (later) any revolutionary, esp one having extreme republican sympathies
any revolutionary extremist

Derived Forms

sans-culottism, nounsans-culottist, noun

Word Origin for sans-culotte

C18: from French, literally: without knee breeches, because the revolutionaries wore pantaloons or trousers rather than knee breeches
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