Sergeant-at-arms
Sergeant Ser"geant, n. [F. sergent, fr. L. serviens, -entis, p. pr. of servire to serve. See {Serve}, and cf. {Servant}.] [Written also {serjeant}. Both spellings are authorized. In England {serjeant} is usually preferred, except for military officers. In the United States {sergeant} is common for civil officers also.] 1. Formerly, in England, an officer nearly answering to the more modern bailiff of the hundred; also, an officer whose duty was to attend on the king, and on the lord high steward in court, to arrest traitors and other offenders. He is now called sergeant-at-arms, and two of these officers, by allowance of the sovereign, attend on the houses of Parliament (one for each house) to execute their commands, and another attends the Court Chancery. [1913 Webster]

The sergeant of the town of Rome them sought. --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]

The magistrates sent the serjeant, saying, Let those men go. --Acts xvi. 35. [1913 Webster]

This fell sergeant, Death, Is strict in his arrest. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

2. (Mil.) In a company, battery, or troop, a noncommissioned officer next in rank above a corporal, whose duty is to instruct recruits in discipline, to form the ranks, etc. [1913 Webster]

Note: In the United States service, besides the sergeants belonging to the companies there are, in each regiment, a sergeant major, who is the chief noncommissioned officer, and has important duties as the assistant to the adjutant; a quartermaster sergeant, who assists the quartermaster; a color sergeant, who carries the colors; and a commissary sergeant, who assists in the care and distribution of the stores. Ordnance sergeants have charge of the ammunition at military posts. [1913 Webster]

3. (Law) A lawyer of the highest rank, answering to the doctor of the civil law; -- called also {serjeant at law}. [Eng.] --Blackstone. [1913 Webster]

4. A title sometimes given to the servants of the sovereign; as, sergeant surgeon, that is, a servant, or attendant, surgeon. [Eng.] [1913 Webster]

5. (Zo["o]l.) The cobia. [1913 Webster]

{Drill sergeant}. (Mil.) See under {Drill}.

{Sergeant-at-arms}, an officer of a legislative body, or of a deliberative or judicial assembly, who executes commands in preserving order and arresting offenders. See {Sergeant}, 1.

{Sergeant major}. (a) (Mil.) See the Note under def. 2, above. (b) (Zo["o]l.) The cow pilot. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • sergeant-at-arms — sergeant at armsˈ or serjeant at armsˈ noun An officer of a legislative body or the Court of Chancery, for making arrests, etc • • • Main Entry: ↑sergeant …   Useful english dictionary

  • sergeant-at-arms — [sär′jəntət ärmz′] n. pl. sergeants at arms an officer appointed to keep order in a legislature, court, social club, etc. * * * …   Universalium

  • sergeant-at-arms — [sär′jəntət ärmz′] n. pl. sergeants at arms an officer appointed to keep order in a legislature, court, social club, etc …   English World dictionary

  • sergeant at arms — noun count an official in a court of law or other institution whose job is to make people obey the rules …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • sergeant at arms — an executive officer of a legislative or other body, whose duty it is to enforce its commands, preserve order, etc. [1350 1400; ME] * * * ▪ officer       an officer of a legislative body, court of law, or other organization who preserves order… …   Universalium

  • sergeant at arms — noun an officer (as of a legislature or court) who maintains order and executes commands • Syn: ↑serjeant at arms • Topics: ↑legislature, ↑legislative assembly, ↑legislative body, ↑general assembly, ↑law makers …   Useful english dictionary

  • sergeant-at-arms — noun variant spelling of serjeant at arms …   English new terms dictionary

  • sergeant-at-arms — noun (C) a serjeant­at­arms …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • sergeant at arms — UK / US serjeant at arms …   English dictionary

  • sergeant at arms — ser′geant at arms′ n. gov an officer of a legislative, judicial, or other body, whose chief duty is to preserve order • Etymology: 1350–1400 …   From formal English to slang

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