Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. an infantry soldier

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Formerly, a member of an independent body of marksmen in the French army. They were used sometimes in front of the army to annoy the enemy, sometimes in the rear to check his pursuit. The term is now applied to all troops acting as skirmishers.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A skirmisher.
  • n. In the French army, a sharp-shooter; a skirmisher; one of an organized body of light troops for skirmish duty.

Etymologies

from French tirailler, to skirmish (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Monday, November 26, 2007 tirailleur tirailleur (teera-yuhr) n.m. skirmisher; soldier, infantryman, sharpshooter; sniper

    tirailleur - French Word-A-Day

  • As he said so, he looked boldly towards Miss Bellenden, and tradition says, that the eyes of the young tirailleur travelled, though more covertly, in the same direction.

    Old Mortality

  • Sharpe, mounted on his horse, could see into the parlour windows and, thinking of his action as a secret approach march, he feared that he might lead his men past the house of a senior Army officer who, like a French tirailleur, would ambush them.

    Sharpe's Regiment

  • Fritz felt the frenzy of Gravelotte return to him as he gripped the sword which he now wielded in place of the musket; and, urging on his company, the men, scattering right and left in tirailleur formation were soon creeping up to the enemy, taking advantage of every little cover which the irregularities of the ground afforded.

    Fritz and Eric The Brother Crusoes

  • Out of this group they have pulled to its edge a huge Senegalese tirailleur, who, petrified in the contorted position where death seized him, leans upon empty air and holds fast by his feet, staring at his two severed wrists.

    Under Fire: the story of a squad

  • But every man must love his chief, and serve him with blood and bayonet; and march o 'nights if need, and limber up the guns if need, and shoe a horse if need, and draw a cork if need, and cook a potato if need; and be a hussar, or a tirailleur, or a trencher, or a general, if need.

    The Project Gutenberg Complete Works of Gilbert Parker

  • But every man must love his chief, and serve him with blood and bayonet; and march o 'nights if need, and limber up the guns if need, and shoe a horse if need, and draw a cork if need, and cook a potato if need; and be a hussar, or a tirailleur, or

    When Valmond Came to Pontiac, Complete

  • In brief time Alexis -- who at loading was quick as a tirailleur -- had recharged his piece, and was now hastening up to the rescue.

    Bruin The Grand Bear Hunt

  • Of every rank, from the sous-lieutenant to the humble soldier, from every arm of the service, from the heavy cuirassier of the guard to the light and intrepid tirailleur, they were there.

    Charles O'Malley — Volume 2

  • "The Fusileer battalions (light infantry) were all armed with the new zünd-nadel guns, the advantages and superiority of which over the common percussion musket now admits of no contradiction, with the sole exception of the facility of loading being an inducement to fire somewhat too quick, when firing independently, as in battle, or when acting en tirailleur.

    Notes and Queries, Number 46, September 14, 1850

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Comments

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  • hahaha To ANNOY the enemy! I love it NO MORE WAR send IRRITATING TEENS TO SHOUT ABUSE leaders of the world take note!
    what a fan-bloody-tastic word TY random words and chained_bear

    February 20, 2009

  • "TIRAILLEURS, skirmishers sent in front of the main body, to act in a disultory (sic) manner, to annoy the enemy, &c." (citation in list description)

    October 9, 2008