Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A member of the French national police organization constituting a branch of the armed forces with responsibility for general law enforcement.
  • n. Slang A police officer.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A member of the gendarmerie, a military body charged with police duties.
  • n. Policeman.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One of a body of heavy cavalry.
  • n. An armed policeman in France.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Originally, in France, a man-at-arms; a knight or cavalier armed at all points and commanding a troop; afterward, a member of a company or corps of cavalry; a cavalryman: sometimes also used for soldier in general.
  • n. In France, since the Revolution, one of the corps of national police, a body organized, uniformed, and drilled like soldiers, and considered, in a sense, a privileged corps of the French army: also used for a policeman of a similar corps in some other European countries. See gendarmerie, 2.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a French policeman

Etymologies

French, from Old French gent d'armes, gendarme, sing. of gens d'armes, mounted soldiers, men-at-arms : gens, people, men (from Latin gentēs, pl. of gēns, clan; see genə- in Indo-European roots) + de, of (from Latin ; see de-) + armes, pl. of arme, weapon; see arm2.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • "Shall I call a gendarme, Monsieur, and have him search for your nurse?"

    The Puppet Crown

  • When Rougon heard the word gendarme, he thought he understood her.

    The Fortune of the Rougons

  • He finished with a gesture of supreme disgust, as if friendship with a gendarme were the basest of crimes.

    The Isle of Unrest

  • Cuba has served as a kind of gendarme regarding the drug traffic in the

    REPORTERS FROM THE CARACOL NETWORK

  • However, Castro said, not only have we not done this; on the contrary, we have become a kind of gendarme in the Caribbean.

    REPORTERS FROM THE CARACOL NETWORK

  • He said the head of the Ivorian gendarme service, the director of police, the chief of staff of the armed forces and the chief of staff of the army have all offered their services to Ouattara.

    Ivory Coast president: Gbagbo will face charges

  • As this image of the fire station got me rousted by the local gendarme.

    staycation

  • The instant that you proceed past the sign, an ill-tempered gendarme will materialize, full of Gallic wrath.

    Science Fiction

  • The major contenders in the 2005 Tour de France rode over the legendary Col du Galibier 8,678 feet under the watchful eye of a gendarme in this classic Tom Moran shot from the VeloNews archives.

    Flashback Gallery: The Col du Galibier in the 2005 Tour de France

  • The local gendarme is an Inspector Clouseau-style clot, complete with all the pratfalls and befuddled ideas, but maybe even he will be able to solve the mystery with a little help from his clever young niece, Le Chat.

    This week's new theatre and dance

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