[zhahn-dahrm; French zhahn-darm]
noun, plural gendarmes [zhahn-dahrmz; French zhahn-darm] .
a police officer in any of several European countries, especially a French police officer.
a soldier, especially in France, serving in an army group acting as armed police with authority over civilians.
(formerly) a cavalryman in charge of a French cavalry squad.

1540–50; < Middle French, earlier gens d'armes, alteration of gent d'armes people at arms Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
gendarme (ˈʒɒndɑːm, French ʒɑ̃darm)
1.  a member of the police force in France or in countries formerly influenced or controlled by France
2.  a slang word for a policeman
3.  a sharp pinnacle of rock on a mountain ridge, esp in the Alps
[C16: from French, from gens d'armes people of arms]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1550, from Fr. contraction of gens d'armes "men at arms," later applied to military police. Gens is pl. of gent "nation, people," from L. gentem, acc. of gens "race, nation, people" (see genus).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
The gendarme started scanning the map, which bothered me a bit for two reasons.
He was shot by a gendarme after allegedly forcing his way through a roadblock.
Authorities also administered beatings in temporary holding cells within police
  or gendarme facilities.
Allegations were also made that authorities administered beatings in temporary
  holding cells within police or gendarme facilities.
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