Word of the Day Archive
Saturday December 4, 2004
cadre \KAD-ree; -ray; KAH-dray; -druh\ , noun:
1. A core or nucleus of trained or otherwise qualified personnel around which an organization is formed.
2. A tightly knit and trained group of dedicated members active in promoting the interests of a revolutionary party.
3. A member of such a group.
4. A framework upon which a larger entity can be built; a scheme.
Trained cadres flowed across the porous border and down the blossoming supply trail through eastern Laos (the Ho Chi Minh Trail).
-- Peter Gay, Pleasure Wars
Around 1880, the year Flaubert died, the French avant-garde was made up of a cadre of bitter, highly self-conscious poets, painters, novelists, and critics.
-- Daniel Okrent, "Twilight of the Boomers", Time, June 12, 2000
The prison's existence was known only to those who worked or were imprisoned there and to a handful of high-ranking cadres, known as the Party Center, who reviewed the documents emerging from S-21 and selected the individuals and the military and other units to be purged.
-- David Chandler, Voices From S-21
The failure of the League of Nations and the shock of Munich had spurred more support, sometimes from names that were widely known, for a federation of free peoples, a union of sovereign states, or whatever similar arrangement might lower the possibility of conflict. Adherents came from the usual cadre of pious dreamers.
-- Hugo Young, This Blessed Plot
Upon entering the English language around 1830 via Sir Walter Scott's Introduction to The Lay of the Last Minstrel, this word first meant "framework," and by the 1850s was a term for a group of people. It was borrowed from the French cadre, "a picture frame," from Italian quadro, "framework," from Latin quadrum, "square, four-sided thing."