Definition of voyageur in English:



  • (in Canada) a boatman employed by the fur companies to transport goods and passengers to and from the trading posts on the lakes and rivers.

    • ‘Neither do we have a clear sense of how the everyday activities of the priests, voyageurs, habitants, military personnel, and their families were influenced by close interactions with Native groups on the frontier.’
    • ‘To begin with, he sketches the canoe routes, touching on the fur trade and the penetration of the continent by the voyageurs.’
    • ‘Natives and the 18th and 19th century French-Canadian traders known as voyageurs were also impressed; they left offerings of tobacco to the cliff.’
    • ‘Scottish merchants used their transatlantic connections to drive Franco-American competitors from the market, but for the retail end of their commerce they relied on the same voyageurs as had their predecessors.’
    • ‘The early voyageurs called their wool caps ‘tuques,’ and it never went away.’


French, literally ‘voyager’, from voyager ‘to travel’.