- A gambler, especially if skilled, gallant.
1861, John Kemp, Wild Dayrell, Longman, Green, Longman, and Roberts, page 71:
- With refilled purses they will visit one of the thousand foreign towns, so glad to receive the beaux joueurs of England.
1878 November 30, “Angélique's Martingale”, All The Year Round, number 522, page 520:
- Either the child is frightened by her three consecutive losses, and hesitates, or else the combination for which she is waiting has not yet arisen. Ninety-nine people in the hundred would surmise the former. I, who know Angélique better, and know if ever beau joueur—or rather, I suppose, belle joueuse—was born, it is that small slight child at my side, think otherwise.
1904, Charles Lever, The Bramleighs of Bishop's Folly, Little, Brown, and Company, page 352:
- "You are a heart and soul gambler." ¶ "Confess, however, I am beau joueur. I know how to lose."
- A good sport, a gallant sportsman.
1909, E. T. H., “Nietzsche and Madame Blavatsky”, Theosophical Quarterly Magazine, volume VI, number 4, page 336:
- In all the "adventures" in life, in peace and in war, the Super-man must exhibit the serenity of the beau joueur, the smiling grace of the dancer, the joyous simplicity of a child at play.
- "Beau joueur," she had called him. How much fuller of fragrance was the Gallic phrase than the English "sport" or "sportsman"; it was perfumed with breeding; it conjured up gesture, a pinch of snuff and a dust of lace ruffles and—
1959, Meyer Barash, Man and the Sacred, University of Illinois Press (2001 reprint), translation of L'homme et le sacré by Roger Caillois, 2nd edition, published 1950, Appendix II, page 162:
- There is no culture in which knowing how to win or lose loyally, without reservations, with self-control in victory, and without rancor in defeat, is not desired. One wants to be en beau joueur.
- She was this beau joueur of suffrage and its martyr, had he not always thought, and should he be surprised by this last logic of her life, by her ambivalence splitting her apart into the lover and the loved?
- Contextual note: In the source, "she" is frequently described with masculine language ("She was a man of the world.") No inference regarding gender-neutrality of beau joueur can be made.
1728, Abel Boyer, The Royal Dictionary: Abridged in Two Parts, I French and English, II English and French, the Fifth Edition Corrected and Impro'd edition:
- Beau joüeur, One that plays fair, and never frets at play.