Definition of victualer in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈvid(ə)lər/
(British victualler)


1 dated A person providing or selling food or other provisions.
Example sentences
  • The old shop was once a butcher's shop when the Henaghan family were the town's leading victuallers.
  • A GAA county development officer, the former victualler surprised many when leaving the meat trade for a coaching role.
  • The profits from these activities provided work for an endless array of builders, carriage-makers, tailors, seamstresses, domestic servants, cab-drivers, and victuallers.
1.1A ship providing supplies for troops or other ships.
Example sentences
  • The lines kept getting confused and each time the lighter thought it was freed it turned out to be the ropes of the victualler!
  • It is perhaps a perception of this which led the Crown to reject a constructive proposal from the navy victuallers in 1638.
2 (also licensed victualer) British A person who is licensed to sell alcoholic liquor.
Example sentences
  • He sells his questions by the dozen to licensed victuallers and is compiling an interactive quiz for the internet and CD-rom.
  • Alongside commercial directories, they allow one to be much more specific about the specialisation of manufacturers and retailers classified as for example victuallers, confectioners, engineers or ironmongers.
  • Derek Haworth, former chairman of the licensed victuallers association, said: ‘We already have to pay both council and business tax?’


Late Middle English: from Old French vitaill(i)er, from vitaille (see victual).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: vict·ual·er

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