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[suhmp-ter] /ˈsʌmp tər/
a packhorse or mule.
Origin of sumpter
1275-1325; Middle English sompter < Old French sometier pack-horse driver < Vulgar Latin *saumatārius, equivalent to Latin sagmat- (stem of sagma; see summer2) + -ārius -ary Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for sumpter
Historical Examples
  • But the hermit soberly journeyed toward Nottingham, the two men-at-arms, with the sumpter mule, riding in front.

    Robin Hood Paul Creswick
  • "O, because she resembles a sister I lost," returned sumpter after a brief hesitation.

    Eventide Effie Afton
  • We started, my uncouth guide sitting tailor-fashion on the sumpter mule upon the baggage.

    The Bible in Spain George Borrow
  • "He is in the office with Mr. sumpter, I believe," was the reply.

    Eventide Effie Afton
  • They say that none but he could have helped to get the major away, and that General sumpter was the instigator.

    Horse-Shoe Robinson John Pendleton Kennedy
  • On the preceding day, the post at Orangeburg had surrendered to sumpter.

  • I at once ordered the sumpter mules taken to the copse on the forest's edge, and directed every man to look to his arms and armor.

  • sumpter was preceded by the legion, supported by the state cavalry.

  • Even the sumpter mules rejoiced, and gave forth a chorus of brays that did one's heart good.

  • General sumpter had sent the patriot to warn General Greene.

British Dictionary definitions for sumpter


(archaic) a packhorse, mule, or other beast of burden
Word Origin
C14: from Old French sometier driver of a baggage horse, from Vulgar Latin sagmatārius (unattested), from Late Latin sagma packsaddle
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 sumpter

early 14c., "driver of a pack horse," from Old French sommetier, from Vulgar Latin *sagmatarius "a pack horse driver," from Late Latin sagmat- "a pack, burden," stem of sagma "packsaddle," from Greek sagma, probably related to sattein "to pack, press, stuff." Used from mid-15c. of horses and mules for carrying loads.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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