fu·​gle·​man | \ ˈfyü-gəl-mən How to pronounce fugleman (audio) \

Definition of fugleman

1 : a trained soldier formerly posted in front of a line of soldiers at drill to serve as a model in their exercises
2 : one at the head or forefront of a group or movement

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A fugleman (adapted from the German Flügelmann, literally "wing man" but commonly meaning "file leader") was originally a soldier posted in front of a line of soldiers to serve as a model in their drill exercises. Today, with its more figurative meaning, the word is often used pejoratively as a synonym of "mouthpiece" or "ringleader." "Fugleman" is by no means a common word, but it does appear in the occasional newspaper article.

First Known Use of fugleman

1804, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for fugleman

modification of German Flügelmann, from Flügel wing + Mann man

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The first known use of fugleman was in 1804

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Cite this Entry

“Fugleman.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fugleman. Accessed 27 Sep. 2021.

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