Definitions

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

  • n. A peace officer with less authority and smaller jurisdiction than a sheriff, empowered to serve writs and warrants and make arrests.
  • n. A medieval officer of high rank, usually serving as military commander in the absence of a monarch.
  • n. The governor of a royal castle.
  • n. Chiefly British A police officer.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A police officer ranking below sergeant in most British/New Zealand police forces. (See also Chief Constable).
  • n. Officer of a noble court in the middle ages, usually a senior army commander. (See also marshal).
  • n. Public officer, usually at municipal level, responsible for maintaining order or serving writs and court orders.
  • n. A elected head of a parish (also known as a connétable)

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A high officer in the monarchical establishments of the Middle Ages.
  • n. An officer of the peace having power as a conservator of the public peace, and bound to execute the warrants of judicial officers.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An officer of high rank in several of the medieval monarchies.
  • n. An officer chosen to aid in keeping the peace, and to serve legal process in cases of minor importance.
  • n. To live beyond one's means. In this latter sense also overrun the constable.
  • n. The commander of a constabulary or company of men-at-arms.

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

  • n. English landscape painter (1776-1837)
  • n. a police officer of the lowest rank
  • n. a lawman with less authority and jurisdiction than a sheriff

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French conestable, from Late Latin comes stabulī, officer of the stable : Latin comes, officer, companion; see ei- in Indo-European roots + Latin stabulī, genitive of stabulum, stable; see stā- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Old French conestable ( > French connétable), from Latin comes stabulī ("officer of the stables"). For the sense-development, compare marshall. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • Derivation: "count of the stable" - the man who counted the King's horses every morning to verify none missing. (via NPR's Says You)

    January 2, 2011

  • Title of the governor of the castle; also warden, captain, castellan.

    August 24, 2008