noun Chiefly British.
Definition for serjeant (2 of 2)
Origin of sergeant
Examples from the Web for serjeant
The great question now was whether they could approach the widow and her daughter otherwise than through Serjeant Bluestone.Lady Anna|Anthony Trollope
Tom said it was a double-shame, and threw a host of hard words upon Mr. Serjeant Stillingfar.
The office of marshal in the high court is represented in this court by a serjeant, who also bears a silver oar.
Serjeant Hoskins:—Serviens ad legem; quaere, if a knight.Brief Lives (Vol. 1 of 2)|John Aubrey
The Serjeant lived in Russell Square, in one of its handsomest houses.
British Dictionary definitions for serjeant (1 of 2)
British Dictionary definitions for serjeant (2 of 2)
- (in Britain) a police officer ranking between constable and inspector
- (in the US) a police officer ranking below a captain
Word Origin for sergeant
Word Origin and History for serjeant
c.1200, "servant," from Old French sergent, serjant "(domestic) servant, valet; court official; soldier," from Medieval Latin servientum (nominative serviens) "servant, vassal, soldier" (in Late Latin "public official"), from Latin servientem "serving," present participle of servire "to serve" (see serve (v.)); cognate with Spanish sirviente, Italian servente; a twin of servant, and 16c. writers sometimes use the two words interchangeably.
Specific sense of "military servant" is attested from late 13c.; that of "officer whose duty is to enforce judgments of a tribunal or legislative body" is from c.1300 (sergeant at arms is attested from late 14c.). Meaning "non-commissioned military officer" first recorded 1540s. Originally a much more important rank than presently. As a police rank, in Great Britain from 1839.
Middle English alternative spelling serjeant (from Old French) was retained in Britain in special use as title of a superior order of barristers (c.1300, from legal Latin serviens ad legem, "one who serves (the king) in matters of law"), from which Common Law judges were chosen; also used of certain other officers of the royal household. sergeant-major is from 1570s. The sergeant-fish (1871) so-called for lateral markings resembling a sergeant's stripes. Related: Sergeancy.