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

  • n. A rigid military disciplinarian.
  • n. One who demands absolute adherence to forms and rules.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A strict disciplinarian
  • n. Anyone who lays stress on a rigid adherence to the details of discipline, or to forms and fixed methods or rules.
  • n. A martin; a swift

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. In military language, a strict disciplinarian; in general, one who lays stress on a rigid adherence to the details of discipline, or to forms and fixed methods.
  • n. The martin.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In ornithology, same as martin, 1.
  • n. Nautical, the name formerly given to a small line fastened to the leech of a sail to bring it close to the yard when the sail is furled. Also martnet.
  • n. Some kind of water-mill. Cath. Anglicum, p. 229.—2. A military engine of the middle ages.
  • n. A rigid disciplinarian, especially in the army or navy; a stickler for routine or regularity in small details.

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

  • n. someone who demands exact conformity to rules and forms


After Jean Martinet (died 1672), French army officer.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
After the example of 17th century French army officer Jean Martinet. (Wiktionary)
From French (Wiktionary)



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  • Take the Army; show without disguise its chiefs as martinets, its discipline as narrow-minded and unfair, and into this stupid tyranny immerse an average human being, fallible but likeable, the archetype of the spectator. And then, at the last moment, turn over the magical hat, and pull out of it the image of an army, flags flying, triumphant, bewitching, to which, like Sganarelle's wife, one cannot but be faithful although beaten (From here to eternity).

    Roland Barthes, Mythologies (Operation Margarine)

    December 3, 2010