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Bushwhackers (American Civil War guerrillas), ca. 1864

Alternative forms[edit]


From bush +‎ whacker.


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bushwhacker (plural bushwhackers)

  1. (US) One who travels through the woods, off the designated path.
  2. (Australia) A person who lives in the bush, especially as a fugitive; a person who clears woods and bush country.
  3. (US, historical) A guerrilla (of either side) during the American Civil War.
    • 1962, Albert E. Castel, William Clarke Quantrill: His Life and Times[1], page 155:
      The bushwhackers remained at General Cooper′s camp several days, then crossed the Red River into Texas.
    • 1967 April, Donald Keith, The Time Machine Hunts a Treasure, Boys' Life, page 51,
      She stared at us. “Hardly. You must be from far off, not to know about Quantrill′s raids. Last March the bushwhackers rode into Aubrey, shot every man in town, stole everything, burned down houses. []
    • 2007, Jeremy Neely, The Border Between Them: Violence and Reconciliation on the Kansas-Missouri Line[2], page 109:
      Many bushwhackers were young men born to families of southern heritage who were generally wealthier and more likely to own slaves than the typical Missouri farmer. [] His eldest daughter, Elisa, was an effective bushwhacker spy and informant.
  4. (dated) Someone who attacks without warning.
  5. A small, soft-floored inflatable boat (designed for use by one or two people).
    • 1977 September, Dave Hurteau, Air and Water, Field & Stream, page 90,
      We spent the rest of the day hopping from pond to pond with the bushwhackers, and we found them very suited for it.

See also[edit]