One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1More generally: any officer in command of a body of approximately one hundred soldiers; the leader of a unit or body of militia. Compare "centurion". Now rare (historical in later use).
2Specifically. With reference to the Channel Islands. Originally: an officer having charge of a local militia (now historical). In later use in Jersey: a senior member of the organization responsible for law enforcement on the island; (now only) a senior member of the Jersey Honorary Police force, subordinate to the Connétable of the parish.
Late Middle English (in an earlier sense). From Anglo-Norman centener, Anglo-Norman and Middle French, Law French centenier, Middle French centinier (French (now hist. or rare) centenier) Roman centurion, officer in charge of an English hundred, officer in command of around a hundred soldiers, police officer or constable in a city, senior member of the Jersey Honorary Police force from classical Latin centēnārius, in post-classical Latin also denoting a centurion.
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