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sans-culotte

[sanz-kyoo-lot, -koo-; French sahn-ky-lawt] /ˌsænz kyʊˈlɒt, -kʊ-; French sɑ̃ küˈlɔt/
noun, plural sans-culottes
[sanz-kyoo-lots, -koo-; French sahn-ky-lawt] /ˌsænz kyʊˈlɒts, -kʊ-; French sɑ̃ küˈlɔt/ (Show IPA)
1.
(in the French Revolution) a revolutionary of the poorer class: originally a term of contempt applied by the aristocrats but later adopted as a popular name by the revolutionaries.
2.
any extreme republican or revolutionary.
Origin
1780-1790
1780-90; < French: literally, without knee breeches
Related forms
sans-culottic
[sanz-kyoo-lot-ik, -koo-] /ˌsænz kyʊˈlɒt ɪk, -kʊ-/ (Show IPA),
adjective
sans-culottish, adjective
sans-culottism, noun
sans-culottist, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for sansculottish

sans-culotte

/ˌsænzkjʊˈlɒt; French sɑ̃kylɔt/
noun
1.
(during the French Revolution)
  1. (originally) a revolutionary of the poorer class
  2. (later) any revolutionary, esp one having extreme republican sympathies
2.
any revolutionary extremist
Derived Forms
sans-culottism, noun
sans-culottist, noun
Word Origin
C18: from French, literally: without knee breeches, because the revolutionaries wore pantaloons or trousers rather than knee breeches
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for sansculottish

sans-culotte

n.

also sansculotte, "lower-class republican of the French Revolution," 1790, from French, literally "without breeches;" see sans + cullotes. Usually explained as referring to the class whose distinctive costume was pantalons (long trousers) as opposed to the upper classes, which wore culottes (knee-breeches), but this is not certain. Related: Sans-culottes; sans-culotterie.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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