Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


Sergeant Wilde was met on his entry into the town by almost the whole population.

We would do anything in our power for Sergeant Wilde and for the cause, but we cannot starve!'

Then he turned to the sergeant, who was smoking philosophically.

"We're beaten, it seems, already," he cried to the sergeant.

He asked for a corporal or a sergeant who could write and stand fire at the same time.

Tell him your grandmother was the sergeant's Mary Ann and your father was Sami.

The wisdom of putting the regiment into the hands of the sergeant was now shown.

While they lost the trail now and then, he saw the sergeant recover it in the openings.

Dick was at the head of the column with Colonel Winchester and the sergeant.

He had missed, and when the sergeant was ready to pull the trigger also Slade was gone.


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.



nouninvestigator of crime
Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.