Definitions

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

  • n. A member of a European military unit trained and armed to fight mounted or on foot.
  • transitive v. To subjugate or persecute by the imposition of troops.
  • transitive v. To compel by violent measures or threats; coerce.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A horse soldier; a cavalryman, who uses a horse for mobility, but fights dismounted.
  • n. A carrier of a dragon musket.
  • v. To force someone into doing something; to coerce.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Formerly, a soldier who was taught and armed to serve either on horseback or on foot; now, a mounted soldier; a cavalry man.
  • n. A variety of pigeon.
  • transitive v. To harass or reduce to subjection by dragoons; to persecute by abandoning a place to the rage of soldiers.
  • transitive v. To compel submission by violent measures; to harass; to persecute.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To set dragoons or soldiers upon, as in the dragonades (see dragonade); persecute or oppress by armed force.
  • To cause to submit, as by persistent threats; compel by repeated acts of any kind; harass.
  • n. A cavalry soldier.
  • n. A dragonade.
  • n. Same as dragon, 2 .

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

  • v. compel by coercion, threats, or crude means
  • n. a member of a European military unit formerly composed of heavily armed cavalrymen
  • v. subjugate by imposing troops

Etymologies

French dragon, carbine, dragoon, from Old French, dragon; see dragon.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • A dragoon is a mounted soldier who attacks mounted, and fights dismounted in the defense.

    Lock n' Loaded: Cracking Down on Bike Theft

  • In the corner opposite the dragoon was a boy of eighteen or so in the working clothes of a terrassier or labourer.

    The Soul of the War

  • The dragoon was the first to resume the conversation.

    The Tiger Hunter

  • He called a dragoon, who was riding in advance, issued a few orders and cautions relative to the comfort and safety of Singleton, and speaking a consoling word to his friend himself, gave Roanoke the spur, and dashed by the car, at a rate that again put to flight all the philosophy of

    The Spy

  • The Obama White House first became known for reckless political tactics when the National Endowment for the Arts used several conference calls dragoon artists into promoting specific administration policies.

    The Washington Times stories: Latest Headlines

  • Her podcast mentioning "dragoon" had to come from here

    Red Letter Challenge -update

  • As the afternoon stretched out into evening, they would mull over words such as dragoon, cabal, strauss and enterprise.

    Archive 2006-10-29

  • The word "dragoon" was a thorn in my tenderest part that rankled and lacerated at every stir.

    Charles O'Malley — Volume 1

  • I believe Ms. Bauer is aiming in the general direction of "dragoon" as verb transitive, in particular the second definition of such as offered by the 1913 Webster: " 2.

    Red Letter Challenge -update

  • Turnbull was in charge of the civil service at the start of the Iraq war: on his watch the evidence in the notorious dossier was used to dragoon public support.

    Britain must resist Tea Party thinking | Polly Toynbee

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • I believe the example sentences for this word refer to a similarly spelled word unrelated to this word. See Peggy Noonan's 6/1/09 column (url below) for the correct usage.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124354585930464037.html

    "Mr. Clinton's staff was human, colorful, messy, slightly mad. They had pent-up energy after 12 years of Republican rule, and they believed their own propaganda that Republicans were wicked. They were oafish: One dragooned a government helicopter to go play golf. President Obama's staff is far less entertaining."

    June 1, 2009

  • I believe the example sentences for this word refer to a similarly spelled word unrelated to this word. See Peggy Noonan's 6/1/09 column (url below) for the correct usage.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124354585930464037.html

    "Mr. Clinton's staff was human, colorful, messy, slightly mad. They had pent-up energy after 12 years of Republican rule, and they believed their own propaganda that Republicans were wicked. They were oafish: One dragooned a government helicopter to go play golf. President Obama's staff is far less entertaining."

    June 1, 2009

  • I believe the example sentences for this word refer to a similarly spelled word unrelated to this word. See Peggy Noonan's 6/1/09 column (url below) for the correct usage.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124354585930464037.html

    "Mr. Clinton's staff was human, colorful, messy, slightly mad. They had pent-up energy after 12 years of Republican rule, and they believed their own propaganda that Republicans were wicked. They were oafish: One dragooned a government helicopter to go play golf. President Obama's staff is far less entertaining."

    June 1, 2009

  • Not quite an oxymoron. See heavy dragoon and light dragoon for period definitions.

    October 9, 2008

  • Dragoons were generally light cavalry, used as a sort of police or guerrilla force on occasion, which is where the verb form comes in. So it was kind of silly for Gilbert to talk about "Heavy Dragoons", it being an oxymoron. (See residuum for citation.)

    The name came from the carbine they originally used, called a dragon.

    August 21, 2008

  • A dragoon is a single soldier, not a unit.

    August 21, 2008

  • What about the Light Dragoons in the War of the Revolution in American history? Is a dragoon a group of troops? One could see coercion in that, or force, for sure.

    August 21, 2008