nounhistorical , informal
An infantry soldier in the French army, especially one who fought in the First World War.
More example sentences
- It coincides with a large number of books and exhibitions about the poilus, as French soldiers in the great war were known.
- The French poilus accepted and respected that American icon.
- In contrast with the pre-1914 view that the French soldier, with his singular élan, performed best in the attack, they took the doggedness of the poilu in defence at Verdun in 1916 as their guide.
French, literally 'hairy', by extension 'brave', whiskers being associated with virility.
Definition of poilu in:
- The US English dictionary