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[kuhn-stuh-buh l, kon-]
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  1. John,1776–1837, English painter.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for john constable


  1. (in Britain, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, etc) a police officer of the lowest rank
  2. any of various officers of the peace, esp one who arrests offenders, serves writs, etc
  3. the keeper or governor of a royal castle or fortress
  4. (in medieval Europe) the chief military officer and functionary of a royal household, esp in France and England
  5. an officer of a hundred in medieval England, originally responsible for raising the military levy but later assigned other administrative duties
Derived Formsconstableship, noun

Word Origin

C13: from Old French, from Late Latin comes stabulī officer in charge of the stable, from Latin comes comrade + stabulum dwelling, stable; see also count ²


  1. John. 1776–1837, English landscape painter, noted particularly for his skill in rendering atmospheric effects of changing light
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 john constable



c.1200, "chief household officer, justice of the peace," from Old French conestable (12c., Modern French connétable), "steward, governor," principal officer of the Frankish king's household, from Late Latin comes stabuli, literally "count of the stable" (established by Theodosian Code, c.438 C.E.), hence, "chief groom." See count (n.). Second element is from Latin stabulum "stable, standing place" (see stable (n.)). Probably a translation of a Germanic word. Meaning "an officer of the peace" is from c.1600, transferred to "police officer" 1836. French reborrowed constable 19c. as "English police."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper