Definition of legionnaire in English:



  • A member of a legion, in particular an ancient Roman legion or the French Foreign Legion.

    • ‘The former French foreign legionnaire, who authorities have linked to a Belgrade mafia group, had been on the run for a year.’
    • ‘When I asked why, he said that it made the legionnaires fight among themselves, so he wasn't allowed to sell it to them any more.’
    • ‘The former French foreign legionnaire was overtaking four cars when the Nissan turned right and collided with the bike.’
    • ‘His legionnaires marched in full battle array, incorporated an advance guard, and maintained tactical integrity on the move.’
    • ‘The Roman Empire had a standing army of 400,000 well-trained legionnaires.’
    • ‘It is kind of a risky thing to write a pop song about a legionnaire stuck in a desert.’
    • ‘Roman legionnaires, for example, were not radically different in their equipment from the soldiers of Assyria a millennium before.’
    • ‘To support the legionnaires, the Romans also used cavalry.’
    • ‘There are a few idle sketches, including a rude caricature of a Roman legionnaire, but as you advance you begin to see signs of pre-historic painting along the walls.’
    • ‘In one of his famous cartoons, he shows soldiers of the French Foreign Legion marching endlessly through a desert expanse with two legionnaires in the foreground.’
    • ‘When on campaign the Roman legions used pack animals to transport the ten-man tents used by the legionnaires and spare missiles for the archers, slingers, and catapults.’
    • ‘When they hit, a blast of light and heat and a rolling shockwave splintered all the siege engines and sent the legionnaires scrambling for cover.’
    • ‘Saito served in the French Foreign Legion for 21 years, but legionnaires said they could not help to free him because he was not a French citizen.’
    • ‘Also, they are good in groups of four or five legionnaires - one attacks from a short distance, another covers from a farther away position, and they even choose those places which are the best.’
    • ‘I had it made for me, like all the other legionnaires, so it fits perfectly, even after all these years.’
    • ‘The lowest level of soldier in the Roman Army was the legionnaire.’
    • ‘I treasure the notion that the first Romans to settle in England were legionnaires who completed their service and got land in and around Colchester.’
    • ‘German special forces troops have adopted it, as have foreign legionnaires, Spanish riot police and Italian anti-terrorism units.’
    • ‘The name annuity dates back to Roman legionnaires who were paid an annual pension when they retired from the army.’
    • ‘Alongside the ghost cruise and the many ghost walks, tours of the cellar have started at the Treasurer's House, where Harry Martindale famously saw the Roman legionnaires.’


Early 19th century: from French légionnaire, from légion legion from Latin legio (see legion).