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[vwah-yah-zhur, voi-uh-; French vwa-ya-zhœr] /ˌvwɑ yɑˈʒɜr, ˌvɔɪ ə-; French vwa yaˈʒœr/
noun, plural voyageurs
[vwah-yah-zhurz, voi-uh-; French vwa-ya-zhœr] /ˌvwɑ yɑˈʒɜrz, ˌvɔɪ ə-; French vwa yaˈʒœr/ (Show IPA)
(in Canada) a person who is an expert woodsman, boatman, and guide in remote regions, especially one employed by fur companies to transport supplies to and from their distant stations.
Origin of voyageur
1785-95; < French: traveler, equivalent to voyag(er) to travel (derivative of voyage journey; see voyage) + -eur -eur
Can be confused
voyager, voyageur. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for voyageur
Historical Examples
  • For instance, in some parts of the Hudson's Bay territory, the voyageur is allowed eight pounds of buffalo-meat per diem!

  • The day of the voyageur was gone, and lines of steamboats crowded its wharf.

  • Thither came the voyageur and the trader to spend the winter of their lives in the little world of Assineboine.

    The Great Lone Land W. F. Butler
  • And with equal promptness came the “Eight hundred” of the voyageur.

    Lost Face Jack London
  • He was in Europe as a voyageur only, and it was while the salary was five hundred guineas more than at present.

  • With a look of poignant disappointment, the voyageur succumbed.

    Lost Face Jack London
  • Why, I am thriving on it—growing like a young walrus, eating like a Canadian voyageur, and sleeping like a top!

    The Young Fur Traders R.M. Ballantyne
  • How unlike the denizen of the desert, the voyageur of the prairie sea!

    The Scalp Hunters Mayne Reid
  • It was a man,” the voyageur answered, “and he was swimming this way.

    The Cryptogram William Murray Graydon
  • From the mixed gibberish of the voyageur, I could gather his meaning well enough.

    The War Trail Mayne Reid
British Dictionary definitions for voyageur


noun (Canadian)
(history) a boatman employed by one of the early fur-trading companies, esp in the interior
a woodsman, guide, trapper, boatman, or explorer, esp in the North
Word Origin
C19: from French: traveller, from voyager to voyage
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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