from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A commoner.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A commoner, a plebeian, a person of low rank
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A person who is not of noble birth; specif., a freeman who during the prevalence of feudalism held allodial land.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In France, a person not of noble birth; a plebeian.
- n. In French-Canadian law, one who holds real property subject to an annual rent or charge.
People shrugged their shoulders, and hinted that there was something of the "roturier" in Mr. Dunbar; but they freely acknowledged that he was a fine handsome-looking fellow, and that his daughter was an angel, rendered still more angelic by the earthly advantage of half a million or so for her marriage-portion.
I think at your age, with your appearance, that your name is worth at least two million francs in the eyes of a rich 'roturier' with an ambitious daughter. "
This fact shows our British independence and honest feeling — our higher orders are not such mere haughty aristocrats as the ignorant represent them: on the contrary, if a man have money they will hold out their hands to him, eat his dinners, dance at his balls, marry his daughters, or give their own lovely girls to his sons, as affably as your commonest roturier would do.
The whiskers of a roturier, my good Lankin, grow as long as the beard of a Plantagenet.
These families, without ever losing sight of their nonnoble roturier background, were in the process of acquiring the attributes and manner of life of the nobility.
The provinces were full of roturier families, who for ages had lived as people of property upon their own domains, and paid the taxes.
So the Canadian peasant, a feudal tenant _en censive_ or _en roture_, yet wished not to be called _censitaire_ or _roturier_, names which he thought degrading; he preferred to be called a habitant, an inhabitant of the country, a free man, not a vassal.
For, if he described another Englishman as not being a nobleman, invariably the foreigner would presume it to be meant that he was not a gentleman -- not of the privileged class -- in fact, that he was a plebeian or _roturier_, though very possibly a man every way meritorious by talents or public services.
The age of the _roturier_ had been the climacteric of France.
Republicans of former rank were desirous of distinguishing themselves from the _roturier_, or for the purpose of making his opinions known in that country which had been always the great tribunal of European opinion, and always will be; he made _me_ sit down at his side.