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From strēle (arrow, dart) +‎ -nieks. First mentioned in 17th-century sources, this word corresponds so well in form and meaning to Old East Slavic стрѣльникъ (strělĭnikŭ, archer) that it may have been a calque or borrowing.[1]


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strēlnieks m (1st declension, feminine form: strēlniece)

  1. (military) (male) rifleman, infantryman, infantry soldier
    strēlnieku divīzijainfantry, riflemen division
    strēlnieku ieročiinfantry weapons
    motorizēto strēlnieku karaspēks — motorized infantry troops
    strēnieku dziesmasriflemen songs
    latviešu brīvprātīgo strēlnieku 1. pulks — 1st. regiment of Latvian voluntary riflemen
  2. (historical) (male) archer (warrior or hunter whose main weapon is a bow (or crossbow) and arrows)
    plecos stops un bultas, strēlnieks kalnos klīst — crossbow and arrows on shoulders, the archer roams in the mountains



  1. ^ “strēle” in Konstantīns Karulis (1992, 2001), Latviešu Etimoloģijas Vārdnīca, in 2 vols, Rīga: AVOTS, ISBN: 9984-700-12-7