Share this entry
coureur de bois Syllabification: cou·reur de bois
Pronunciation: /kəˌrər də ˈbwä/

Definition of coureur de bois in English:

noun (plural coureurs de bois pronounced same)

(In Canada and the northern US) a woodsman or trader of French origin.
Example sentences
  • In addition to the habitants, there were the coureurs de bois, traders who negotiated for furs with the Indians in the upper reaches of the Ottawa River and in the Great Lakes.
  • The exploits of the early travellers by canoe, especially the French coureurs de bois, stand among the great adventure stories of all time.
  • A veteran of many government-endorsed programs, I've also worked for a federal agency and highly enjoy those National Film Board shorts about Québecois coureurs de bois.


Early 18th century: French, literally 'wood runner'.

Definition of coureur de bois in:
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources