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Na·po·le·on I(nə-pō′lē-ən, -pōl′yən) Originally Napoleon Bonaparte. Known as "the Little Corporal." 1769-1821.
Emperor of the French and King of Italy (1804-1814). A brilliant military strategist, he overthrew the French Directory (1799) and proclaimed himself first consul and, later, emperor (1804). His military and political might gripped Continental Europe, but after a disastrous winter campaign in Russia (1812), he was forced to abdicate (1814). Having been exiled to the island of Elba, he escaped, briefly regained power, and was ultimately defeated at Waterloo (1815) and exiled for life to the island of St. Helena. His codification of laws, the Napoleonic Code, still forms the basis of French civil law.
Na·po′le·on′ic (-ŏn′ĭk) adj.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
(Biography) full name Napoleon Bonaparte. 1769–1821, Emperor of the French (1804–15). He came to power as the result of a coup in 1799 and established an extensive European empire. A brilliant general, he defeated every European coalition against him until, irreparably weakened by the Peninsular War and the Russian campaign (1812), his armies were defeated at Leipzig (1813). He went into exile but escaped and ruled as emperor during the Hundred Days. He was finally defeated at Waterloo (1815). As an administrator, his achievements were of lasting significance and include the Code Napoléon, which remains the basis of French law
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