sans·​cu·​lotte | \ˌsanz-ku̇-ˈlät, -kyu̇-\

Definition of sansculotte 

1 : an extreme radical republican in France at the time of the French Revolution

2 : a radical or violent extremist in politics

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from sansculotte

sansculottic \ -​ˈlä-​tik \ adjective
sansculottish \ ˌsanz-​ku̇-​ˈlä-​tish \ adjective
sansculottism \ ˌsanz-​ku̇-​ˈlä-​ˌti-​zəm \ noun

Did You Know?

At the time of the French Revolution (1787-1799), knee breeches (culottes in French) were the height of fashion for aristocratic men. The men of the general populace could not afford such impractical finery and instead wore the pantaloon (long trousers). When the poorer classes rose up against the government, members of the Revolutionary army used this difference in dress to distinguish themselves from the aristocracy, calling themselves "soldats sans culottes," literally, "soldiers without culottes." Almost immediately, sansculotte became a noun in both French and English.

First Known Use of sansculotte

1790, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for sansculotte

French sans-culotte, literally, without breeches

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about sansculotte

Share sansculotte

Listen to Our Podcast about sansculotte

Statistics for sansculotte

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sansculotte

The first known use of sansculotte was in 1790

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on sansculotte Encyclopedia article about sansculotte

Comments on sansculotte

What made you want to look up sansculotte? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


playful or foolish behavior

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Autumn Words of the Day 2018

  • a-top-down-image-of-road-through-an-autumn-forest
  • Which is a synonym of fugacious?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!