Definition of saboteur in English:



  • A person who engages in sabotage.

    • ‘And, to top it all off, saboteurs blew up the oil pipeline to Turkey, which had just started working a few days ago.’
    • ‘Closer to the capital, saboteurs began felling towers with explosives; one attack plunged the city into a three-day blackout.’
    • ‘In that ruling, the justices said spies and saboteurs were violators of the law of war and so were not entitled to prisoner-of-war protections.’
    • ‘Some of it was on the interwoven struggles of families, law enforcement, saboteurs, and oil and gas workers in northern Alberta's Peace region.’
    • ‘The tracks were prime targets of saboteurs fighting the Japanese in World War II, and, afterwards, the French who built the line.’
    • ‘Therefore, it is imperative to prevent the fight for freedom and peace, dignity and justice being hijacked by the double dealers and slick saboteurs.’
    • ‘Joachim Ronneberg and 11 other saboteurs were sent to destroy the Norsk Hydro plant in the Telemark region of Norway in February 1943.’
    • ‘But with about 4,350 miles of pipelines crisscrossing the country, officials concede there are many places for saboteurs to strike.’
    • ‘It tells of a plan in which a plane from a specially equipped submarine would spray San Diego and saboteurs were to land secretly to poison California's water supply.’
    • ‘During the boat ride, he pointed out the site of a former Maori pa, a fortified settlement hidden in the bush where warriors had hauled their canoes high up the cliffs to protect them from saboteurs.’
    • ‘While Shell officials tried to investigate, a group of unidentified saboteurs set the pipeline on fire, Shell said in a statement.’
    • ‘German saboteurs plotted a wartime bombing campaign in Britain using exploding cans of processed peas, according to secret files made public for the first time today.’
    • ‘Police are making great savings by no longer having to send officers and helicopters out to deal with clashes between hunts and saboteurs on almost every Saturday during the winter.’
    • ‘There will be whingers in IBEC who will call the farmers traitors and saboteurs and who will say the country can't afford any more supports for the farmers.’
    • ‘The Camp was first opened for the purpose of training American and British agents who would drop behind enemy lines as spies, saboteurs and secret agents.’
    • ‘Military tribunals for spies and saboteurs are nothing special.’
    • ‘A contractor who harvested corn on the farm gave up when saboteurs planted metal bars in the ground to wreck his combine harvester.’
    • ‘In the current conditions, it is imperative for political parties and the people to take the initiative in order to foil the schemes of terrorists and saboteurs.’
    • ‘During the General Strike in 1926, saboteurs derailed the Flying Scotsman and two of the 10 coaches it was pulling.’
    • ‘The chief engineer of the pipeline said saboteurs are definitely responsible for the resultant explosion and fire.’


1920s: from French, from the verb saboter (see sabotage).