sans·​cu·​lotte | \ ˌsanz-ku̇-ˈlät How to pronounce sansculotte (audio) , -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

Other Words from sansculotte

sansculottic \ ˌsanz-​ku̇-​ˈlä-​tik How to pronounce sansculotte (audio) , -​kyu̇-​ \ adjective
sansculottish \ ˌsanz-​ku̇-​ˈlä-​tish How to pronounce sansculotte (audio) , -​kyu̇-​ \ adjective
sansculottism \ ˌsanz-​ku̇-​ˈlä-​ˌti-​zəm How to pronounce sansculotte (audio) , -​kyu̇-​ \ 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.

Examples of sansculotte in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Its Second Republic, following the Paris uprising of 1848—one led by the children of the sansculottes, an armed working class—lasted only three years, dissipating in Bonapartist restoration. Christopher Ketcham, Harper's magazine, 22 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sansculotte.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of sansculotte

1790, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for sansculotte

French sans-culotte, literally, without breeches

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Cite this Entry

“Sansculotte.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Oct. 2022.

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