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See more synonyms for dragoon on Thesaurus.com
  1. (especially formerly) a European cavalryman of a heavily armed troop.
  2. a member of a military unit formerly composed of such cavalrymen, as in the British army.
  3. (formerly) a mounted infantryman armed with a short musket.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to set dragoons or soldiers upon; persecute by armed force; oppress.
  2. to force by oppressive measures; coerce: The authorities dragooned the peasants into leaving their farms.
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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
Related formsdra·goon·age, nounun·dra·gooned, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for dragoon

Historical Examples

  • 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.

  • In any case, the dragoon was obviously plethoric and would be the better for a blood-letting.

    Captain Blood

    Rafael Sabatini

  • The chase had begun with the beginning of the day, at Dragoon Pass.

    When the West Was Young

    Frederick R. Bechdolt

  • When you crossed the summits of the Dragoon Mountains you were beyond the pale.

    When the West Was Young

    Frederick R. Bechdolt

British Dictionary definitions for dragoon


  1. (originally) a mounted infantryman armed with a carbine
  2. (sometimes capital) a domestic fancy pigeon
    1. a type of cavalryman
    2. (pl; cap when part of a name)the Royal Dragoons
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verb (tr)
  1. to coerce; forcehe was dragooned into admitting it
  2. to persecute by military force
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Derived Formsdragoonage, noun

Word Origin

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


1620s, from French dragon "carbine, musket," because the guns the soldiers carried "breathed fire" like a dragon (see dragon). Also see -oon.

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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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper