Definition of saboteur in English:



  • A person who engages in sabotage.

    • ‘Closer to the capital, saboteurs began felling towers with explosives; one attack plunged the city into a three-day blackout.’
    • ‘The Camp was first opened for the purpose of training American and British agents who would drop behind enemy lines as spies, saboteurs and secret agents.’
    • ‘Joachim Ronneberg and 11 other saboteurs were sent to destroy the Norsk Hydro plant in the Telemark region of Norway in February 1943.’
    • ‘Military tribunals for spies and saboteurs are nothing special.’
    • ‘In the current conditions, it is imperative for political parties and the people to take the initiative in order to foil the schemes of terrorists and saboteurs.’
    • ‘A contractor who harvested corn on the farm gave up when saboteurs planted metal bars in the ground to wreck his combine harvester.’
    • ‘During the General Strike in 1926, saboteurs derailed the Flying Scotsman and two of the 10 coaches it was pulling.’
    • ‘German saboteurs plotted a wartime bombing campaign in Britain using exploding cans of processed peas, according to secret files made public for the first time today.’
    • ‘The chief engineer of the pipeline said saboteurs are definitely responsible for the resultant explosion and fire.’
    • ‘Some of it was on the interwoven struggles of families, law enforcement, saboteurs, and oil and gas workers in northern Alberta's Peace region.’
    • ‘There will be whingers in IBEC who will call the farmers traitors and saboteurs and who will say the country can't afford any more supports for the farmers.’
    • ‘But with about 4,350 miles of pipelines crisscrossing the country, officials concede there are many places for saboteurs to strike.’
    • ‘While Shell officials tried to investigate, a group of unidentified saboteurs set the pipeline on fire, Shell said in a statement.’
    • ‘During the boat ride, he pointed out the site of a former Maori pa, a fortified settlement hidden in the bush where warriors had hauled their canoes high up the cliffs to protect them from saboteurs.’
    • ‘In that ruling, the justices said spies and saboteurs were violators of the law of war and so were not entitled to prisoner-of-war protections.’
    • ‘It tells of a plan in which a plane from a specially equipped submarine would spray San Diego and saboteurs were to land secretly to poison California's water supply.’
    • ‘Therefore, it is imperative to prevent the fight for freedom and peace, dignity and justice being hijacked by the double dealers and slick saboteurs.’
    • ‘The tracks were prime targets of saboteurs fighting the Japanese in World War II, and, afterwards, the French who built the line.’
    • ‘And, to top it all off, saboteurs blew up the oil pipeline to Turkey, which had just started working a few days ago.’
    • ‘Police are making great savings by no longer having to send officers and helicopters out to deal with clashes between hunts and saboteurs on almost every Saturday during the winter.’


1920s: French, from the verb saboter (see sabotage).