Definition of dauphin in US English:



  • The eldest son of the King of France.

    • ‘In 1558, she married the French dauphin who became King Francois II of France a little over a year later.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The treaty of Troyes forced Charles VI of France to disinherit his son, the dauphin, in favour of the English kings.’
    • ‘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 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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In 1483 Margaret of Austria was betrothed to the dauphin, later Charles VIII of France, but they never married.’
    • ‘In 1429, Joan presented herself to the embattled dauphin as the virgin deliverer of France.’
    • ‘Not long after this Oresme became friendly with the dauphin Charles who went on to become Charles V of France in 1362.’
    • ‘In 1729 he painted scenery for the Versailles fireworks display to celebrate the birth of the dauphin.’
    • ‘Festivals occurred frequently at the square during the Old Regime, notably on the occasion of the birth of the dauphin and for royal marriages.’
    • ‘The French dauphin made himself king as Charles VII with inspirational support from Joan of Arc.’
    • ‘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 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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The play ends with the maistre and vignerons hoping for more victories from Louis and a dauphin to secure the succession.’


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.