Definition of dauphin in US English:



  • The eldest son of the King of France.

    • ‘The play ends with the maistre and vignerons hoping for more victories from Louis and a dauphin to secure the succession.’
    • ‘Not long after this Oresme became friendly with the dauphin Charles who went on to become Charles V of France in 1362.’
    • ‘Festivals occurred frequently at the square during the Old Regime, notably on the occasion of the birth of the dauphin and for royal marriages.’
    • ‘In 1429, Joan presented herself to the embattled dauphin as the virgin deliverer of France.’
    • ‘These voices told her that it was her divine mission to free her country from the English and help the dauphin gain the French throne.’
    • ‘Louis' only son, the dauphin, wasn't a promising prospect, and Louis' other four children with an earlier mistress had to wait until the dowager Queen's death before he could force their legitimacy through the French parlement.’
    • ‘In 1729 he painted scenery for the Versailles fireworks display to celebrate the birth of the dauphin.’
    • ‘In 1483 Margaret of Austria was betrothed to the dauphin, later Charles VIII of France, but they never married.’
    • ‘He did, however, keep in touch with a wide circle of courtiers and especially with the dauphin Henry upon whose eventual accession his hopes of recovery now depended.’
    • ‘The hand of six-year-old Mary was promised to the French dauphin, Francis, in 1548 in exchange for French protection of Scotland from the English as part of the Auld Alliance.’
    • ‘The treaty of Troyes forced Charles VI of France to disinherit his son, the dauphin, in favour of the English kings.’
    • ‘It seemed wise to ship Mary out of Scotland at age 5 for France, where she was reared as a match for that country's dauphin prince.’
    • ‘The young girl's historical journey led her away from home and eventually to Chinon, where she requested an audience with Charles VII, the dauphin and future king.’
    • ‘In 1558, she married the French dauphin who became King Francois II of France a little over a year later.’
    • ‘In 1429 Joan did fulfill her goals of raising the siege of Orleans and getting the dauphin crowned as King Charles VII at Reims, the traditional coronation site for French monarchs.’
    • ‘Her time with the royal French household, which included tutoring the dauphin Louis, came to an end as the Hundred Years War was renewed in 1415.’
    • ‘The French dauphin made himself king as Charles VII with inspirational support from Joan of Arc.’
    • ‘Prior to that the chateau was the residence of Charles VII, the dauphin of France in the early 15th century.’
    • ‘She also had to contend with the many false dauphins who appeared across France, Europe and as far away as Canada.’
    • ‘Henry's savage reprisals in 1544 and 1545 alienated what support the English had in Scotland and in 1548 Mary was betrothed to the dauphin and sent to France.’


French, from the family name of the lords of the Dauphiné, an area of SE France: ultimately a nickname meaning ‘dolphin’. In 1349 the future Charles V acquired the lands and the title; when king he ceded them to his eldest son, establishing the practice of passing both title and lands to the Crown Prince.