pseudonym of François Marie Arouet. 1694–1778, French writer, whose outspoken belief in religious, political, and social liberty made him the embodiment of the 18th-century Enlightenment. His major works include Lettres philosophiques (1734) and the satire Candide (1759). He also wrote plays, such as Zaïre (1732), poems, and scientific studies. He suffered several periods of banishment for his radical views
name taken from 1718 by French author François Marie Arouet (1694-1778) after his imprisonment in the Bastille on suspicion of having written some satirical verses; originally de Voltaire. The signification is uncertain.
The nom de plume of François Arouet, an eighteenth-century French philosopher and author and a major figure of the Enlightenment. Voltaire was known as a wit and freethinker. The most famous of his works is Candide.