Definition of trooper in US English:



  • 1US A state police officer.

    • ‘The prosecution's case collapsed on Wednesday when undercover state troopers were unable to identify a single defendant responsible for committing a crime among mug shots of those arrested.’
    • ‘State police are positioning their troopers, again, on the edge of the storm.’
    • ‘They used a cell phone to call 911, and the police dispatched a search team that included state troopers, firefighters, dogs, and a helicopter.’
    • ‘A major state police force a few years ago gave all their troopers Walther.380s to use as backup guns.’
    • ‘Inside the courtroom, as many as nine uniformed officers, including state troopers and sheriff's deputies, stood guard.’
    • ‘Officials placed the city under a state of emergency, imposed a dawn-to-dusk curfew and dispatched hundreds of police officers and state troopers to suppress the riot.’
    • ‘As troopers and police took off after the fleeing marchers, a group lit into the reporters.’
    • ‘Authorities responded by ordering a crackdown by hundreds of police and state troopers from throughout the state equipped with armored personnel carriers, dogs and helicopters.’
    • ‘Many police and state troopers still use regular radio wave radar guns to patrol, so these detectors are able to pick up these guns.’
    • ‘At any time, there are between 20 and 30 State Patrol troopers driving along King County's highways, she added.’
    • ‘Federal marshals are guarding overseas flights, and state troopers are patrolling trains.’
    • ‘Radar detectors do just that - detect radar beams that are being distributed from the radar guns of police officers or state troopers.’
    • ‘After about an hour, a state trooper arrived.’
    • ‘Many speeding tickets are issued in so-called speed traps, where police officers or state troopers effectively hide their cars and lie in wait for speedy passers-by.’
    • ‘As he is spotted by the police troopers they move in, apparently intent on forceful arrest, but a fleet-footed dash carries him safely away.’
    • ‘I ended up getting a job as a policeman and eventually finished as a state trooper.’
    • ‘Nebraska State Patrol troopers drove chase cars parallel to the train to stop motorists who didn't obey traffic laws at rail crossings.’
    • ‘The main benefit of a radar detector is to make you aware of police officers or state troopers in the area.’
    • ‘An aggressive campaign to boost security on Washington state ferries will allow State Patrol troopers to conduct random searches of vehicles as motorists wait to board.’
    • ‘Between them and die jail stood a wall of city police officers, sheriffs deputies, and Alabama state troopers.’
    1. 1.1 A mounted police officer.
      • ‘Rather, they watched the approach of the Constabulary troopers with gratitude and respect, even admiration, for they knew the young men were there to help.’
      • ‘It is the story of an Aboriginal tracker who guides three police troopers in search of an accused Aboriginal man.’
      • ‘It also employed black troopers in the Native Mounted Police for punitive expeditions to track down and kill resisting tribes.’
      • ‘His philosophy was not relevant to wars fought earlier with different weapons and armor, or even those wars when the hand gun became the common and preferred weapon of choice for the mounted trooper.’
      • ‘When he was told of his own dastardly deeds, he acted the part of an innocent bystander and watched in amusement as half a dozen troopers and police, joined by several civilians galloped off at great speed in search of the highwayman.’
      police officer, policeman, policewoman, pc, wpc, officer of the law, detective, dc
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  • 2A private soldier in a cavalry, armored, or airborne unit.

    • ‘The typical cavalry troop organization in the North had 72 troopers and 60 in the South.’
    • ‘The Marines instinctively opened fire on the troopers, but all their bullets just bounced off the armor.’
    • ‘Here we came across a stray carriage into which I was lifted, and it was driven off to the Quatre Saisons - the young officer accompanying me, whilst a trooper followed with his horse, and the others rode off to their barracks.’
    • ‘At Fort Knox, the Armor Center trains troopers, tankers, and leaders from privates to colonels - over 20,000 a year, as a matter of fact.’
    • ‘We cannot be exclusionary in our quest for recognition for our armor and cavalry troopers who are in harm's way against a cunning foe.’
    • ‘In 1914 he enlisted as a trooper and he was killed in France, shot through the head while resting in a shallow crater.’
    • ‘Air assault troopers, once on board the helicopters, must be ready to conduct small arms fire through aircraft openings.’
    • ‘Their unfamiliar appearance and smell so unsettled the enemy horses that the Lydian troopers were forced to dismount and fight on foot, where they were decisively defeated.’
    • ‘There was no time to dress ranks properly, and unit organization went by the board as the troopers struggled to form front.’
    • ‘I would argue that now, every soldier is also a cavalry trooper.’
    • ‘Four royal cavalry troopers in ceremonial armour and helmets took up watch around the coffin with swords drawn and heads bowed.’
    • ‘Rim soldiery was everywhere: troopers and cavalry, wagon trains carrying troops and supplies.’
    • ‘Because many places along the border were inaccessible to jeeps, troopers frequently had to dismount and walk or crawl to appropriate vantage points.’
    • ‘This, combined with Schofield's latch, made it possible for a cavalry trooper to reload the gun with one hand and still maintain control of his horse.’
    • ‘I look forward to working with all of our great Armor and Cavalry troopers and leaders.’
    • ‘All twenty troopers opened fire with their machine guns.’
    • ‘Behind the Colonel were his hand picked unit of super troopers.’
    • ‘A cavalry trooper is typically a well-trained ‘jack-of-all-trades’ in the combined arms arena.’
    • ‘General Alfred Terry traveled due west from Fort Abraham Lincoln in Dakota Territory with a force that included Custer and his Seventh Cavalry troopers.’
    • ‘Excavations have uncovered two barracks housing cavalry troops (twenty-seven troopers and an officer in each), a forehall, granaries, and the remains of a hospital.’
    private soldier, common soldier
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    1. 2.1 A cavalry horse.
      • ‘Command Sergeant Major Kellman, your Armor / Cavalry troopers are magnificent.’
      • ‘The public love to spend time, as our Adjutant so eloquently put it, talking to the horses and patting the troopers!’
    2. 2.2British A ship used for transporting troops.
      • ‘Every trooper, every transport, every ship is brought together in a massive armada for the invasion.’
      • ‘He sailed on the Empire Trooper from Durban in 1943 to Bombay.’
  • 3A reliable and uncomplaining person.

    ‘he was a real trooper for going on while he was feeling less than his best’
    ‘she even managed to sign some autographs one-handed—what a trooper!’


The traditional spelling for the sense ‘a reliable and uncomplaining person’ is trouper, not trooper. More than two thirds of examples of this use in the Oxford English Corpus are spelled trooper, however, and this form has become common even in edited text. Nonetheless, trooper is still regarded by many as incorrect


  • swear like a trooper

    • Swear a great deal.

      ‘his fists were clenched and he was swearing like a trooper’
      • ‘But I am light-hearted, and I am gutsy and I do swear like a trooper.’
      • ‘She muttered curses and swore like a trooper throughout.’
      • ‘She reportedly swore like a trooper at neighbours and staff, and put down her husband in public.’
      • ‘And then we go to the cinema - me swearing like a trooper at any car that tries to get in our way - my brother getting slightly over-excited.’
      • ‘Four-year-old macaw Sid can miaow like a cat, bark like a dog and laugh like a drain… but maybe it was the swearing like a trooper that got him in a spot of bother.’
      • ‘If someone swears like a trooper I will write it just as they say it.’
      • ‘I'm a stoic, honest, and I am battling my natural instinct to swear like a trooper.’
      • ‘When she speaks English she swears like a trooper - fit to make a sailor blush - but in French she's clean as a whistle.’
      • ‘It was clear that she was going to be a huge, huge star despite her habits of swearing like a trooper and smoking like a chimney.’
      • ‘It's an intriguing partnership because Tim sounds very humorous, talks in a broad Lancashire accent and swears like a trooper.’
      curse, blaspheme, utter profanities, utter oaths, be foul-mouthed, use bad language, use foul language, be blasphemous, take the lord's name in vain, swear like a trooper, damn
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