GC: n

S: EncBrit – (last access: 26 March 2015)

N: 1. French, from franc free + tireur shooter.
First Known Use: 1808.
A civilian and especially a guerrilla fighter or sniper.
2. Very often the armed forces of belligerents consist throughout the war of their regular armies only; but it happens frequently that irregular forces take part. Of such irregular forces two different kinds are to be distinguished – first, such as are authorised by the belligerents; and, secondly, such as are acting on their own initiative, and on their own account, without special authorization. Formerly it was a recognised rule of International Law that only the members of authorised irregular forces enjoyed the privileges due to the members of the armed forces of belligerents; members of unauthorised irregular forces were considered to be war criminals, and could be shot when captured. During the Franco-German War in 1870, the Germans acted throughout according to this rule with regard to the so-called “franctireurs”, requesting the production of special authorization form the French Government from every irregular combatant whom they captured, failing which he was shot. But according to Art. 1 of the Hague Regulations this rule is now obsolete.
3. Shooting (Sports): sharpshooter.

S: 1. MW – (last access: 26 March 2015). 2 & 3. TERMIUM PLUS – (last access: 26 March 2015).

GV: franctireur

S: TERMIUM PLUS – (last access: 26 March 2015)


CR: rapid humanitarian intervention force, sniper.