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sergeant major

U.S. Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps. a noncommissioned officer serving as chief administrative assistant in a unit headquarters.
U.S. Marine Corps. a noncommissioned officer ranking above a first sergeant.
a small damselfish, Abudefduf saxatilis, inhabiting warm Atlantic waters, having vertical black stripes on each side.
Origin of sergeant major
1565-75 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for sergeant-major
Historical Examples
  • "I'm glad of it," he said: "I will go with you to see the sergeant-major, and try to get you put in my peloton" (company).

    Trooper 3809 Lionel Decle
  • The sergeant-major gave me an opportunity to see my relatives there.

    A Soldier's Life Edwin G. Rundle
  • He then ordered a trooper who stood in the guard-room to take me to the office of my sergeant-major.

    Trooper 3809 Lionel Decle
  • This, says the sergeant-major, was the only intimation of the enemy's strength.

  • "Message to retire at once, sir," reported my sergeant-major.

    Tell England Ernest Raymond
  • But I should like to know to which class of majors you belong, tambour-major or sergeant-major?

    Major Frank A. L. G. Bosboom-Toussaint
  • "I was told the inspector was here," said Nekhludoff, surprised at the agitation he noticed in the sergeant-major's manner.

    Resurrection Leo Tolstoy
  • Apart from that, and the circumstance of the sergeant-major of the Dorsets, who is 6-ft.

    A Yeoman's Letters P. T. Ross
  • The sergeant-major swung round sharply and bawled out: "Stop that talking there—you're stood to attention!"

    Combed Out Fritz August Voigt
  • The fate of the sergeant-major I have not heard yet, though it is not difficult to guess.

    A Yeoman's Letters P. T. Ross
British Dictionary definitions for sergeant-major

sergeant major

a noncommissioned officer of the highest rank or having specific administrative tasks in branches of the armed forces of various countries
a large damselfish, Abudefduf saxatilis, having a bluish-grey body marked with black stripes
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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