One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1archaic An inhabitant.
inhabitant, resident, townsman, townswoman, native, localView synonyms
- ‘The in habitants of the camp were busy as usual, constantly bustling about.’
- ‘The company is responsible for treating all the waste water of a city with over 16 million habitants.’
- ‘The country dwellers and habitants of market towns and traditional villages keep away from the large towns and cities unless absolutely necessary.’
- ‘It is not surprising that with this attitude towards dark-skinned people, many North Africans do not consider themselves blacks and look down on habitants of Sub-Saharan Africa.’
- ‘This being the case, those habitants of areas outside the golden southwestern sphere are entirely reliant upon their own vehicles.’
2often as modifier An early French settler in Canada (especially Quebec) or Louisiana.‘the habitant farmhouses of old Quebec’
settler, colonizer, colonial, frontiersman, frontierswoman, pioneerView synonyms
- ‘Many of the early French habitants established small farms.’
- ‘When tobacco prices dropped, Chesapeake planters suffered; when French subsidies lagged or European fashions changed, Quebec habitants descended toward subsistence.’
- ‘These habitants were the first French Canadians.’
- ‘In 1713, when Britain acquired Acadia, they were some 2,300 French habitants living on seigneuries, under the manorial system which France established in her colonies.’
- ‘The lives of many French North American habitants were disrupted by eighteenth-century geopolitical changes, but none more than the Acadians.’
Late Middle English (in habitant (sense 1)): from Old French, from habiter, from Latin habitare ‘inhabit’.
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