A sans-culotte was a member of a working class political group in 18th- and 19th-century France. The sans-culottes played a large role in the French Revolution.

The term sans-culotte means "without breeches" in French. This doesn’t mean that these radical partisans didn’t wear pants, but instead refers to their lower-class status. Wealthy, aristocratic French men typically wore knee-length breeches made of silk, while the working class sans-culottes dressed more practically, in long trousers. The group advocated for direct democracy, taxing the rich, and the idea that everyone was created equal.

Definitions of sans-culotte
  1. noun
    a lower-class radical republican during the French Revolution
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    type of:
    an advocate of a republic (usually in opposition to a monarchy)
  2. noun
    an extreme revolutionary or republican
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    type of:
    revolutionary, revolutionist, subversive, subverter
    a radical supporter of political or social revolution
Word Family

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