- (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
Examples from the Web for sans-culotte
But Boivin was a soldier, and a soldier is not a sans-culotte.The Historical Nights' Entertainment
Dr. Mivers was as much scouted as if he had been a sans-culotte.Lucretia, Complete
A sans-culotte, who lived near by and whose suspicions had been aroused, followed him one evening.Which?
"These are all sans-culotte literature, I take it," said his Lordship; but the youth was stupefied and silent.The Fortunes Of Glencore
Charles James Lever
Clearly the sans-culotte of Brussels was a mere tinsel imitation of the genuine article at Paris.Belgium
George W. T. (George William Thomson) Omond
- (during the French Revolution)
- (originally) a revolutionary of the poorer class
- (later) any revolutionary, esp one having extreme republican sympathies
- any revolutionary extremist
Word Origin and History for sans-culotte
also sansculotte, "lower-class republican of the French Revolution," 1790, from French, literally "without breeches;" see sans + cullotes. Usually explained as referring to the class whose distinctive costume was pantalons (long trousers) as opposed to the upper classes, which wore culottes (knee-breeches), but this is not certain. Related: Sans-culottes; sans-culotterie.