fusilier

fusilier

[fyoo-zuh-leer]
noun
a member of a British regiment formerly armed with fusils.
Also, fusileer.


Origin:
1670–80; < French; see fusil1, -ier2

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World English Dictionary
fusilier (ˌfjuːzɪˈlɪə)
 
n
1.  (formerly) an infantryman armed with a light musket
2.  Also: fusileer
 a.  a soldier, esp a private, serving in any of certain British or other infantry regiments
 b.  (pl; cap. when part of a name): the Royal Welch Fusiliers
 
[C17: from French; see fusil1]

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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

fusilier
1680, "soldier armed with a musket," from Fr. fusilier, from O.Fr. fusil "musket," earlier "steel for a tinderbox," from V.L. *focilis (petra) "(stone) producing fire," from L. focus "hearth," in V.L. "fire." Retained by certain regiments of the British army that were formerly armed with fusils.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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