American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. An attendant, servant, or lesser official in a royal or noble household.
- n. A yeoman of the guard.
- n. A petty officer performing chiefly clerical duties in the U.S. Navy.
- n. An assistant or other subordinate, as of a sheriff.
- n. A diligent, dependable worker.
- n. A farmer who cultivates his own land, especially a member of a former class of small freeholders in England.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A retainer; a guard.
- n. A gentleman attendant in a royal or noble household, ranking between a sergeant and a groom: as, yeoman for the month, a butler; yeoman of the crown; yeoman usher: applied also to attendants of lower grade: as, yeoman feuterer (seefeuterer); yeoman of the chamber; yeoman of the wardrobe. See also phrase yeoman of the guard, below.
- n. One holding a subordinate position, as an attendant or assistant, journeyman, etc.
- n. In old English law, one having free land of forty shillings by the year (previously five nobles), who was thereby qualified to serve on juries, vote for knights of the shire, and do any other act for which the law required one who was “probus et legalis homo” (Blackstone, Com., I. xii.); hence, in recent English use, one owning (and usually himself cultivating) a small landed property; a freeholder.
- n. In the United States navy, an appointed petty officer who has charge of the stores in his department. The ship's yeoman has charge of the boatswains', carpenters', sailmakers' stores, etc., and the engineer's yeoman has charge of all stores in the engineer's department, while the paymaster's yeoman takes care of provisions, clothing, and small stores, and issues them as directed.
- n. A member of the yeomanry cavalry. See yeomanry, 4.
- n. An official providing honorable service in a royal or high noble household, ranking between a squire and a page.
- n. historical A former class of small freeholders who farm their own land; a commoner of good standing.
- n. A subordinate, deputy, aide, or assistant.
- n. A Yeoman Warder.
- n. A clerk in the US navy, and US Coast Guard.
- n. nautical In a vessel of war, the person in charge of the storeroom.
- n. A member of the Yeomanry Cavalry officially chartered in 1794 originating around the 1760s.
- n. A member of the Imperial Yeomanry officially created in 1890s and renamed in 1907.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. A common man, or one of the commonly of the first or most respectable class; a freeholder; a man free born.
- n. obsolete A servant; a retainer.
- n. engraving A yeoman of the guard; also, a member of the yeomanry cavalry.
- n. (Naut.) An interior officer under the boatswain, gunner, or carpenters, charged with the stowage, account, and distribution of the stores.
- n. officer in the (ceremonial) bodyguard of the British monarch
- n. in former times was free and cultivated his own land
- Middle English yoman, yeman, from Old English *gēaman (compare Old Frisian gaman ‘villager’, Middle Dutch goymann ‘arbiter’), compound of gē, gēa ‘district, region’ (in ælgē, Sūthrigēa), from Proto-Germanic *gawi (compare West Frisian gea, goa, Dutch gouw, German Gau), and mann ‘man’. More at man. (Wiktionary)
- Middle English yoman, perhaps from Old English *gēaman, from Old Frisian gāman, villager : gā, region, district + man, man. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Goodman Mascall, Goodman Cockswet, etc., and in matters of law these and the like are called thus, _Giles Jewd, yeoman; Edward Mountford, yeoman; James Cocke, yeoman; Harry Butcher, yeoman_, etc.; by which addition they are exempt from the vulgar and common sorts.”
“The plain Anglo-Saxon yeoman strain which was really the basis of his nature now asserted itself in the growing conservatism of ideas which marked the last forty years of his life.”
“The word yeoman was under stood in the old English sense of the small independent farmers.”
“The word yeoman is often used as an equivalent term and sometimes the original Scandinavian form _bonde_ is used in English.”
“: one unduly fearful of what is foreign and especially of people of foreign origin yeoman”
“Beefeaters are originally called yeoman warders, originally assigned in the 15th century to guard high profile prisoners.”
““Excuse me, Admiral, I have Captain Bonelli on the secure line,” called the yeoman from the doorway of his office.”
“I may instance his derivation of dismal from Latin dies mali, unpropitious days, derided by Trench, but now known to be substantially correct, and his intelligent conjecture that the much discussed word yeoman 'seemeth to be one word made by contraction of yong man,' an etymology quite recently revived — July 1921 — by the Oxford Dictionary.”
“He was what we may call a yeoman, that most wholesome and natural of all classes.”
“There were larger allotments known as yeoman and capitalist grants, but the peasants are the only class who have turned out quite satisfactory farmers.”
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