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[troop] /trup/
an assemblage of persons or things; company; band.
a great number or multitude:
A whole troop of children swarmed through the museum.
Military. an armored cavalry or cavalry unit consisting of two or more platoons and a headquarters group.
troops, a body of soldiers, police, etc.:
Mounted troops quelled the riot.
a single soldier, police officer, etc.:
Three troops were killed today by a roadside bomb.
a unit of Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts usually having a maximum of 32 members under the guidance of an adult leader.
a herd, flock, or swarm.
Archaic. a band or troupe of actors.
verb (used without object)
to gather in a company; flock together.
to come, go, or pass in great numbers; throng.
to walk, as if in a march; go:
to troop down to breakfast.
to walk, march, or pass in rank or order:
The students trooped into the auditorium.
to associate or consort (usually followed by with).
verb (used with object)
British Military. to carry (the flag or colors) in a ceremonial way before troops.
Obsolete. to assemble or form into a troop or troops.
Origin of troop
1535-45; < French troupe, Old French trope, probably back formation from tropel herd, flock (French troupeau), equivalent to trop- (< Germanic; see thorp) + -elLatin -ellus diminutive suffix
Related forms
intertroop, adjective
Can be confused
troop, troupe (see synonym study at the current entry)
1. body, group, crowd. 2. crowd, herd, flock, swarm, throng. 9. collect. 10. swarm.
Synonym Study
1. See company. 8. Troop, troupe both mean a band, company, or group. Troop has various meanings as indicated in the definitions above. With the spelling troupe the word has the specialized meaning of a company of actors, singers, acrobats, or other performers. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for trooping
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It was the beginning of a new college year, and members of all classes were trooping back to begin their work.

  • We had entered the garden, and a throng of guests were trooping after us.

    Princess Zara Ross Beeckman
  • The men were trooping in for the six o'clock supper, when a light waggon swung into sight over the crest of the rise.

    By Right of Purchase Harold Bindloss
  • And now the village ancients and the women were trooping home from church.

    The Day of Wrath Maurus Jkai
  • Through the rich grass of the meadow by the stream the red cattle are trooping home in answer to the milking call.

    In the West Country Francis A. Knight
  • These are the things they bring, when you see them trooping to the castle from the valley.

    Browning's Heroines Ethel Colburn Mayne
  • Soon he saw them trooping out of the paddock gate on the track, in single file, a brave show.

  • On they came, trooping up the path, laughing and talking softly.

    The Crimson Sweater Ralph Henry Barbour
British Dictionary definitions for trooping


a large group or assembly; flock: a troop of children
a subdivision of a cavalry squadron or artillery battery of about platoon size
(pl) armed forces; soldiers
a large group of Scouts comprising several patrols
an archaic spelling of troupe
(intransitive) to gather, move, or march in or as if in a crowd
(transitive) (military, mainly Brit) to parade (the colour or flag) ceremonially: trooping the colour
(transitive) (Brit, military, slang) (formerly) to report (a serviceman) for a breach of discipline
(intransitive) an archaic word for consort (sense 1)
Word Origin
C16: from French troupe, from troupeau flock, of Germanic origin
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 trooping



1540s, "body of soldiers," from Middle French troupe, from Old French trope "band of people, company, troop" (13c.), probably from Frankish *throp "assembly, gathering of people" (cf. Old English ðorp, Old Norse thorp "village," see thorp). OED derives the French word from Latin troppus "flock," which is of unknown origin but may be from the Germanic source.


1560s, "to assemble," from troop (n.). Meaning "to march" is recorded from 1590s; that of "to go in great numbers, to flock" is from c.1600. Related: Trooped; trooping.



1560s, "to assemble," from troop (n.). Meaning "to march" is recorded from 1590s; that of "to go in great numbers, to flock" is from c.1600. Related: Trooped; trooping.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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