dragoons

dragoon

[druh-goon]
noun
1.
(especially formerly) a European cavalryman of a heavily armed troop.
2.
a member of a military unit formerly composed of such cavalrymen, as in the British army.
3.
(formerly) a mounted infantryman armed with a short musket.
verb (used with object)
4.
to set dragoons or soldiers upon; persecute by armed force; oppress.
5.
to force by oppressive measures; coerce: The authorities dragooned the peasants into leaving their farms.

Origin:
1615–25; < French dragon, special use of dragon dragon, applied first to a pistol hammer (so named because of its shape), then to the firearm, then to the troops so armed

dragoonage, noun
undragooned, adjective
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World English Dictionary
dragoon (drəˈɡuːn)
 
n
1.  (originally) a mounted infantryman armed with a carbine
2.  (sometimes capital) a domestic fancy pigeon
3.  a.  a type of cavalryman
 b.  (pl; cap when part of a name): the Royal Dragoons
 
vb
4.  to coerce; force: he was dragooned into admitting it
5.  to persecute by military force
 
[C17: from French dragon (special use of dragon), soldier armed with a carbine, perhaps suggesting that a carbine, like a dragon, breathed forth fire]
 
dra'goonage
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

dragoon
1622, from Fr. dragon "carbine, musket," because the guns the soldiers carried "breathed fire" like a dragon. The verb is from 1689, lit. "to force by the agency of dragoons" (which were used by the Fr. kings to persecute Protestants).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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