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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.]
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.


(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]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(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]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
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
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Towns-people alternately read the names of 24 French Poilu, infantrymen from this seemingly unremarkable ville, who paid the ultimate price during the Great War.
The Epee-Baionnette Modele 1886 Modifie 1915 was a modified version of the Mle 1886 Lebel epee bladed thrusting bayonet, lovingly referred to by the French Poilu's as "Rosalie." The Mle 1907-15 was easier and less expensive to produce than the Mle 1886-93 Lebel.
By the time the Great War ended, the French had purchased in excess of 700,000 Eibar pistols, which saw service on every battlefield around the world that the Poilu fought and bled upon.
unlit, unit, ultimo, Hoffman; Dustin 4 Trent; River 3 XV; tulip, topi, toil, point, poilu, piton, pion, Louis 2 Manchester; of University 1 pinto, pint, pilot, opium, omit, moil, mint, milt, lupin, loin, lion, lint, lino, Quiz: limp, limn, into, input, PLUTONIUM tools.
Towards the end of the poem, he laments: "it's just another poilu [French soldier] that's dead;/You"ve hauled them every day/Till your soul has ceased to wonder and weep/ At war's wild, wanton play." (37) The narrator's horror can be seen in his attempts to wake up the wounded blesse and admission that he wept when first exposed to the carnage.
Upon recovery, her cot screened from the male patients, she registers "the pervasive poilu smell" of the hospital.
From 1914 to 1919, the French Poilu served on battlefields ranging from the trenches of the Western Front, the mountains of northern Greece.
His design for Le Poilu Victorieux, which we find on this monument to the fallen French of Western Canada, was widely marketed by the Durenne foundry in Paris.