Definition of lancer in English:



  • 1historical A soldier of a cavalry regiment armed with lances.

    • ‘Twenty-four regiments formed part of the Restoration army, but subsequent restructuring reduced this number as some were converted to lancers.’
    • ‘But when free of the classroom, he transforms himself into the role of the leader of an elite corps of Polish lancers in Napoleon's army.’
    • ‘To a troop of war-hardened lancers from the 19th century, they would have looked like giant steel-toothed beetles crawling across the parade ground.’
    • ‘If at that moment, the swordsman lunges, forcing the lance to the outside, he is safe and the lancer is at his mercy.’
    • ‘Curiously, perhaps anticipating a conflict with Eastern European cavalry forces, his manual also contains advice in facing a charge against lancers.’
    • ‘In fact, the lancers were a minority of those who charged: only one regiment of lancers, but two each of hussars and light dragoons.’
    mounted troops, cavalrymen, horse soldiers, troopers, horse
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A soldier of a regiment originally armed with lances.
      ‘the Queen's Royal Lancers’
      • ‘In July 1955, after completing his National Service with the 12 th Lancers, Mollatt, a former England Youth triallist, joined the Minstermen.’
      • ‘The U.S. Army has currently stationed my son abroad, with the Queens Royal Lancers, so this project will have to wait until he returns.’
      • ‘From column commander in South Africa he graduated to command the 5th Lancers, 4th Cavalry Brigade, and then became inspector general of Cavalry in 1910.’
      • ‘The Queen's Royal Lancers has been based at Imphal Barracks, Osnabrück in Germany since its formation in 1993, as part of 4th Armoured Brigade.’
      • ‘As James Morris, Morris served in the army with the 9th Lancers, then travelled widely while working as a foreign correspondent.’
      • ‘After ten years of further purchase, he gained command of the 17th Lancers.’
      • ‘The smart regiments in the Indian army were the guys with the Lancers and the Gurkhas.’
      • ‘Colin Baker had learned to ride horses while commanding the Hunter River lancers from 1983-86 as a member of the Army reserve.’
      • ‘He was put in the 17 / 21st Lancers and was in the Reserves in 1939 when he was invited to train for service in the Military Police.’
      • ‘The men, from the Queen's Royal Lancers, were named as Corporal Adams and Trooper Clarke.’
      • ‘He spent the war years as a Regimental Officer, 9th Lancers, then, when invalided out in 1944, as instructor at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst.’
      • ‘He served in World War I in the Royal Flying Corps and the 16th Lancers.’
  • 2lancerstreated as singular A quadrille for eight or sixteen pairs.

    • ‘She whirls by in the Valse, or glides in front of them in the Lancers.’
    • ‘The Lancers Quadrille was full of grace, with its salutes and its bows, its slow and solemn movement.’
    • ‘I just went to Thomson's around the time of the First War where they learned you quadrilles and lancers.’


Late 16th century: from French lancier, from lance ‘a lance’.