dragoon

[druh-goon]
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noun
  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.
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.

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


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Historical Examples of dragoon


British Dictionary definitions for dragoon

dragoon

noun
  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
verb (tr)
  1. to coerce; forcehe was dragooned into admitting it
  2. to persecute by military force
Derived Formsdragoonage, noun

Word Origin for dragoon

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
n.

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

v.

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