noun, plural sans-cu·lottes [sanz-kyoo–lots, -koo-; French sahn-ky–lawt] /ˌsænz kyʊˈlɒts, -kʊ-; French sɑ̃ küˈlɔt/.
- (in the French Revolution) a revolutionary of the poorer class: originally a term of contempt applied by the aristocrats but later adopted as a popular name by the revolutionaries.
- any extreme republican or revolutionary.
- (during the French Revolution)
- (originally) a revolutionary of the poorer class
- (later) any revolutionary, esp one having extreme republican sympathies
- any revolutionary extremist
n.also sansculotte, “lower-class republican of the French Revolution,” 1790, from French, literally “without breeches;” see sans + cullotes. Usually explained as referring to the class whose distinctive costume was pantalons (long trousers) as opposed to the upper classes, which wore culottes (knee-breeches), but this is not certain. Related: Sans-culottes; sans-culotterie.