- (especially formerly) a European cavalryman of a heavily armed troop.
- a member of a military unit formerly composed of such cavalrymen, as in the British army.
- (formerly) a mounted infantryman armed with a short musket.
- to set dragoons or soldiers upon; persecute by armed force; oppress.
- to force by oppressive measures; coerce: The authorities dragooned the peasants into leaving their farms.
Origin of dragoon
1615–25; < French dragon, special use of dragon dragon, applied first to a pistol hammer (so named because of its shape), then to the firearm, then to the troops so armed
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for dragoon
One dragoon advanced and was struck off his horse by the bayonet.A Sketch of the Life of Brig. Gen. Francis Marion
William Dobein James
And thus evaporates the last vestige of the dragoon's Christmas festivity.Camps, Quarters and Casual Places
In any case, the dragoon was obviously plethoric and would be the better for a blood-letting.Captain Blood
The chase had begun with the beginning of the day, at Dragoon Pass.
When you crossed the summits of the Dragoon Mountains you were beyond the pale.
- (originally) a mounted infantryman armed with a carbine
- (sometimes capital) a domestic fancy pigeon
- a type of cavalryman
- (pl; cap when part of a name)the Royal Dragoons
- to coerce; forcehe was dragooned into admitting it
- to persecute by military force
C17: from French dragon (special use of dragon), soldier armed with a carbine, perhaps suggesting that a carbine, like a dragon, breathed forth fire
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
Word Origin and History for dragoon
1680s, literally "to force by the agency of dragoons" (which were used by the French kings to persecute Protestants), from dragoon (n.). Related: Dragooned; dragooning.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper