[dis-uh-pluh-nair-ee-uh n]


a person who enforces or advocates discipline: The teacher was a formidable disciplinarian.


Origin of disciplinarian

First recorded in 1575–85; discipline + -arian
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for disciplinarian

Contemporary Examples of disciplinarian

Historical Examples of disciplinarian

  • In every capacity of life, he was a disciplinarian who could not brook any breach of rule.

    Adventures and Recollections

    Bill o'th' Hoylus End

  • Threats only show weakness on the part of the disciplinarian.

    The Mother and Her Child

    William S. Sadler

  • Time was too precious to be wasted, and the monitress was something of a disciplinarian.

  • Hamilton stared at him, and it was the stern stare of a disciplinarian.


    Edgar Wallace

  • He was, as became his nature and his training, a disciplinarian.

    Hurricane Island

    H. B. Marriott Watson

British Dictionary definitions for disciplinarian



a person who imposes or advocates discipline


a less common word for disciplinary
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 disciplinarian

"one who enforces order," 1630s, see discipline; earlier used of Puritans who wanted to establish the Presbyterian "discipline" in England (1580s). Meaning "advocate of greater discipline" is from 1746.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper