Definition of dragoon in English:



  • 1A member of any of several cavalry regiments in the British army.

    • ‘The commander of the dragoons was court-martialled, and shot himself.’
    • ‘While a system of barracks relieved the villagers of having to lodge the dragoons in their houses, the obligation to transport provisions using their own animals at times when they were needed in the fields was burdensome.’
    • ‘Then the dragoons came under fire from a German battalion mounted on bicycles.’
    • ‘Like other forms of body armour, metal helmets were generally abandoned in Latin Europe around 1660, but were revived around 1810 for units of heavy cavalry and dragoons, and are still worn by such units on formal occasions.’
    • ‘From the calibre of those we recover we can tell whether they were fired by musketeers, cavalry, dragoons or possibly, from the surface damage on them, as ‘case-shot’ from artillery pieces.’
    • ‘In 1705 this number was readjusted to four dragoons.’
    • ‘It is a painting I often have in mind when I write about my dragoons.’
    • ‘Born in Hereford, the third of seven children of Peter Garrick and Arabella Clough, he returned with his family to Lichfield where his father was stationed with the dragoons, and where he received his early education.’
    • ‘But Kent was in a dragoon regiment and the half jacket you wear is typical for hussar uniforms.’
    • ‘One of these dragoons is John Loveday, the trumpet-major, the gentle, unassuming son of the miller.’
    • ‘In the original battle on December 5 1642 Royalist Lord Henry Wilmot and Lord Digby led a troop of dragoons in a daring attack on the town.’
    • ‘It is possible that the red uniforms of several British dragoons may have been glimpsed on Novikov's estate.’
    • ‘Without stopping, as soon as the sun rose Banastre Tarleton ordered his unrested Legion and dragoons to charge into the American militia in the center.’
    • ‘We have recently added a troop of dragoons to the regiment.’
    • ‘Cavalry was essential to pursue the hard-riding Indians - at first, a full regiment of dragoons was drummed to the colors, and then a second regiment.’
    • ‘Jefferson had himself been hunted like an animal by British dragoons.’
    • ‘Fired on by guns from both flanks and to the front, he and a few dragoons reached the Russian line before retreating.’
    • ‘She affects Victorian-melodrama attitudes, tromps about like a regiment of dragoons, utters horror-film laughs, and spits out a goodly number of her lines.’
    • ‘In fact, the lancers were a minority of those who charged: only one regiment of lancers, but two each of hussars and light dragoons.’
    • ‘Initially the male population was required to supply labor services for defensive works at the isthmus of Corinth while inhabitants of the villages were also required to supply lodging and provisions for the dragoons.’
    cavalryman, mounted soldier, horse soldier, cavalier, knight, chevalier
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    1. 1.1historical A mounted infantryman armed with a carbine.
      • ‘Nine uniformed dragoons are standing around with the figure that is probably the architect, in frock coat and top hat concentrating on a drawing board.’
      • ‘Cavalry forces evolved into four categories throughout the ages: the cuirassier or heavy cavalryman, the lancer, the dragoon or mounted infantryman, and the light cavalry.’
      • ‘This small force consisted of a troop of dragoons in front, an advance guard of light infantry, a few artillery batteries, and several infantry regiments in the rear.’
      • ‘The Patriot delivers in the form of Colonel William Tavington of the green dragoons.’
      • ‘In an unwary moment, French dragoons come so very narrowly to causing Wellesley great harm, prevented only by the heroic efforts of Sergeant Richard Sharpe.’


  • Coerce (someone) into doing something.

    ‘she had been dragooned into helping with the housework’
    • ‘The world of fantasy did fill her childhood - she wrote books and plays and dragooned her younger brother Roger into playing assorted parts.’
    • ‘The whips who failed miserably to dragoon the rebels through the ‘No’ lobby on Wednesday wearily admit that a mass revolt by more than a third of backbenchers cannot be passed off as a mere blip.’
    • ‘What's more, he and his crew appear to have dragooned the press into service as disseminators of propaganda and apologists for the failures of administration policy that the government hasn't been able to sidestep.’
    • ‘Along with the awful band at the next wedding or Bar Mitzvah you're dragooned into.’
    • ‘The politically innocent Dave is dragooned into impersonating the real president, in order to hide the truth from the public.’
    • ‘Before setting off to Dancewear in Glasgow to buy my first set of pumps, however, I was dragooned by the man to take part in a hateful five-a-side.’
    • ‘Yes, and dragooning young people into the rebel army, but that was a matter which had been argued before the Tribunal.’
    • ‘A subject race, dragooned by force for centuries, has shaken off the last of its shackles.’
    • ‘He had masterminded the enterprise, dragooning his employees to participate in the crime, he said.’
    • ‘If I were dragooned tomorrow into teaching Western civ, I would raise my hand for the second semester, from Torquemada to Hitler.’
    • ‘What they need help with is mostly serving meals and answering phones - they aren't dragooning people into serving on bucket brigades.’
    • ‘So Saturday last weekend I was dragooned into being a judge at a local school's speech contest.’
    • ‘It doesn't try to load each episode with winky references for the adult who's been dragooned into watching it; instead, it just tells short clever stories anyone can enjoy.’
    • ‘When members of the general public - for lack of a more inclusive term, let's call them ‘voters’ - are dragooned into election politics, with or without their consent, the result is usually as unpredictable as it is unedifying.’
    • ‘When we were dragooned by the southern hemisphere into the professional era, nobody thought too much about the longer-term consequences.’
    • ‘After sitting through the tedious mutualisation vote, he was dragooned by the bossy PR woman from during the question time session for group managing director.’
    • ‘So at the risk of being dragooned into the ranks of the lynch mob, I'll add that the simplest reason he inspires so much derision is that he dishes it out himself in spades with a supremely self satisfied and moralistic air.’
    • ‘However, it is almost certain he and other top officials will spend the summer attempting to dragoon local officials and businessmen into slowing development.’
    • ‘As she traced the zipper outline of the case, she explained to Brian, ‘There's a party tonight, and I was dragooned into going.’’
    • ‘Once upon a time my Sunday school teacher dragooned me into a little kiddie choir that performed ‘Away in A Manger’ during the Christmas cantata.’
    coerce, pressure, pressurize, bring pressure to bear on, use pressure on, put pressure on, constrain, lean on, press, push
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Early 17th century (denoting a kind of carbine or musket, thought of as breathing fire): from French dragon ‘dragon’.