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sergeant

[sahr-juh nt] /ˈsɑr dʒənt/
noun
1.
a noncommissioned army officer of a rank above that of corporal.
2.
U.S. Air Force. any noncommissioned officer above the rank of airman first class.
3.
a police officer ranking immediately below a captain or a lieutenant in the U.S. and immediately below an inspector in Britain.
4.
a title of a particular office or function at the court of a monarch (often used in combination):
sergeant of the larder; sergeant-caterer.
6.
Also called sergeant at law. British. (formerly) a member of a superior order of barristers.
8.
(initial capital letter) a surface-to-surface, single-stage, U.S. ballistic missile.
9.
a tenant by military service, below the rank of knight.
Also, especially British, serjeant (for defs 1–7, 9).
Origin
1150-1200
1150-1200; Middle English sergant, serjant, serjaunt < Old French sergent < Latin servient- (stem of serviēns), present participle of servīre. See serve, -ent
Related forms
sergeancy
[sahr-juh n-see] /ˈsɑr dʒən si/ (Show IPA),
sergeantship, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for sergeantship

sergeant

/ˈsɑːdʒənt/
noun
1.
a noncommissioned officer in certain armed forces, usually ranking above a corporal
2.
  1. (in Britain) a police officer ranking between constable and inspector
  2. (in the US) a police officer ranking below a captain
4.
a court or municipal officer who has ceremonial duties
5.
(formerly) a tenant by military service, not of knightly rank
Also serjeant
Derived Forms
sergeancy (ˈsɑːdʒənsɪ), sergeantship, noun
Word Origin
C12: from Old French sergent, from Latin serviēns, literally: serving, from servīre to serve
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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Word Origin and History for sergeantship

sergeant

n.

c.1200, "servant," from Old French sergent, serjant "(domestic) servant, valet; court official; soldier," from Medieval Latin servientum (nominative serviens) "servant, vassal, soldier" (in Late Latin "public official"), from Latin servientem "serving," present participle of servire "to serve" (see serve (v.)); cognate with Spanish sirviente, Italian servente; a twin of servant, and 16c. writers sometimes use the two words interchangeably.

Specific sense of "military servant" is attested from late 13c.; that of "officer whose duty is to enforce judgments of a tribunal or legislative body" is from c.1300 (sergeant at arms is attested from late 14c.). Meaning "non-commissioned military officer" first recorded 1540s. Originally a much more important rank than presently. As a police rank, in Great Britain from 1839.

Middle English alternative spelling serjeant (from Old French) was retained in Britain in special use as title of a superior order of barristers (c.1300, from legal Latin serviens ad legem, "one who serves (the king) in matters of law"), from which Common Law judges were chosen; also used of certain other officers of the royal household. sergeant-major is from 1570s. The sergeant-fish (1871) so-called for lateral markings resembling a sergeant's stripes. Related: Sergeancy.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for sergeantship

sergeant

Related Terms

buck sergeant


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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