One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1historical A soldier of a cavalry regiment armed with lances.
mounted troops, cavalrymen, horse soldiers, troopers, horseView synonyms
- ‘In fact, the lancers were a minority of those who charged: only one regiment of lancers, but two each of hussars and light dragoons.’
- ‘Curiously, perhaps anticipating a conflict with Eastern European cavalry forces, his manual also contains advice in facing a charge against 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.’
- ‘Twenty-four regiments formed part of the Restoration army, but subsequent restructuring reduced this number as some were converted to lancers.’
- ‘If at that moment, the swordsman lunges, forcing the lance to the outside, he is safe and the lancer is at his mercy.’
- ‘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.’
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’.
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