Definition of fusilier in US English:


(also fusileer)


usually Fusiliers
  • 1A member of any of several British regiments formerly armed with fusils.

    ‘the Royal Scots Fusiliers’
    • ‘Significantly, the route he has chosen will mirror that taken by his late father, Fred, who was a fusilier in World War Two.’
    • ‘The next layer up are the yellow-tailed fusiliers and the next the yellow-banded fusiliers.’
    • ‘In the back is a group of Welsh fusiliers, and here's me, a ragged scarecrow creature from the swamp, an image from a schlock nightmare.’
    • ‘The chorus of noblewomen and fusileers is unbalanced in quality, but luckily perked up after the intermission to help put in place an entertaining finale.’
    • ‘The fusilier added that his family had been anxious about his possible deployment in Iraq since he received his call up notice in October, but they were supportive and proud of his role as a reservist.’
    • ‘The fusiliers drive with a practised authority, zigzagging, never contravening each other's line of fire. The top-cover soldiers swivel with their rifles to their shoulders, eyes pressed to the sights.’
    • ‘Southern-based Irish regiments of fusiliers, such as the Dublins and Munsters, and the Connaught Rangers, were disbanded in the early 1920s when the Irish Free State was founded.’
    • ‘A 21-year-old fusilier with the Lancashire Regiment, Norman had only been in France a little over eight weeks when he found himself, along with tens of thousands of his comrades, hemmed in on the beaches at Dunkirk.’
    • ‘‘I spoke to fusiliers whose parents live in Halifax Road, Whitworth and Spotland,’ he said.’
    • ‘Mann, whose remarks at the funeral of fusilier Gordon Gentle made headlines around the world, admitted he had been closely involved in the anti-war movement in his native US before moving to Scotland earlier this year.’
    • ‘One of the most moving experiences for me was going to Arras in France, to the re-interment of two fusiliers who had died in World War I. The corpses had been found as a result of the War Graves Commission; there're still many people missing.’
    • ‘Larkin left Oldham 10 years ago to see the world, signing up for a life in the army, joining the legendary fusiliers and rising from private to lance corporal, serving in both Europe and the Middle East.’
    1. 1.1historical A soldier armed with a fusil.
      • ‘Two centuries ago, soldiers called fusiliers, who were armed with light flintlock muskets, fought on battlefields using tactics and formations trained on the parade field.’
      • ‘Regiments of fusiliers were assigned to guard the artillery trains, in which large quantities of gunpowder were stored and transported for the army's ordnance.’
      • ‘Behind these troops, and in second line, were the foot-guards, consisting of two regiments of fusileers, two regiments of riflemen, and two regiments of the old guard; that is to say, one of grenadiers and another of chasseurs.’


Late 17th century: from French, from fusil (see fusil).