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n. Slang
A French soldier, especially in World War I.

[French, hairy, tough, poilu, from Old French pelu, hairy, from Vulgar Latin *pilūtus, from Latin pilus, hair.]


(ˈpwɑːluː; French pwaly)
(Military) an infantryman in the French Army, esp one in the front lines in World War I
[C20: from French, literally: hairy (that is, virile), from poil hair, from Latin pilus a hair]


(ˈpwɑ lu; Fr. pwaˈlü)

n., pl. -lus (-luz; Fr. -ˈlü)
a French common soldier.
[1910–15; < French, hairy, haired; Middle French, Old French pelu < Vulgar Latin *pilūtus < Latin pil(us) hair]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.poilu - a French soldier (especially in World War I)
soldier - an enlisted man or woman who serves in an army; "the soldiers stood at attention"
2.poilu - thick stew made of rice and chicken and small game; southern U.S.
stew - food prepared by stewing especially meat or fish with vegetables
References in periodicals archive ?
Communaute de communes Sainte Baume Mont Aurelien, 6 rue des Poilus, BP 522
C'est a s'arracher les cheveux de la tete, de la barbe, de la poitrine et d'autres endroits poilus du corps humain
And moreover, the South African Department of Education should pay particular attention to the recommendations made in this research so as to sufficiently and expeditiously address the educational needs and expectations of the African poilus.
How else explain the many lads who get along from one punch-up to the next, those thuggy poilus who nest in their ghastly trenches until the next cue to traipse the baroque ring of meat and thunder.
It is surely an exaggeration to argue that the poilus envisaged the war--including the real possibility of death--as a futile enterprise.
On s'imaginait Jules Verne, ou alors Victor Hugo" (37); le point commun etant bien sur la barbe, mais le choix du recit se porte exclusivement sur des ecrivains poilus, alors que d'autres Francais de cette periode, tel un Pasteur, se faisaient remarquer par leur imperiale.
WHAT SISTER AGNES Warner's eager New Brunswick readership got in her book My Beloved Poilus was a series of snapshots--both visual and narrative--of her adopted world.
Ceci est a mettre en rapport avec diverses initiatives tres mediatiques a propos de << parole des poilus >> (France Inter)--un processus de collecte de temoignages contemporain du deploiement d'une litterature erudite sur le sujet.
THEY will soon be memories, ghosts of history - those men they called Les Poilus, the hairy ones, because of their whiskers and beards, who fell in countless ranks defending their homeland.
The revival of interest in the Great War since the 1970s, inspired by the work of Jacques Becker, has emphasized the "new military history," producing a spate of work on the mentality of the poilus and the dynamics of the home front, the war's destructive effects, and its eschatological consequences.