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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 ?
In his 1916 novel, Under Fire, Henri Barbusse's poilus (French slang for the "hairy ones" of the French infantry), on leave in Paris, immediately discern among the crowd the "aviators (who can be recognized from a distance by their trim elegance and their decorations).
Lloyd has Petain warning Foch that the poilus were "bled white, anaemic.
COM, 2014, <<American Apparel : Les mannequins poilus font polemique>>, consulte sur Internet (http://www.
And so it was, yet the need to ease the dreadful pressure on Petain's weary, bloodshod Poilus meant Haig had to commit Tommies to their own Calvary of the Somme, by far the costliest battle in British and Commonwealth history.
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.
The letters Lyons examines to and from France's poilus reveals many of the social and regional fractures that belie the argument that France's army was unified in a sense of patriotism and attachment to Alsace and Lorraine.
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.