Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

sutler

play
noun sut·ler \ˈsət-lər\

Definition of sutler

  1. :  a civilian provisioner to an army post often with a shop on the post



Did You Know?

For I shall sutler be / Unto the camp, and profits will accrue, Pistol declares in Shakespeare's Henry V. In 1599, the year the play was first performed, "sutler" was quite new to English. It was adapted from the Dutch word soeteler, which meant about the same thing as our modern term. Even then, sutlers weren't usually the most popular fellows in a military camp, as a further look at the word's history reveals. The Dutch adopted "soeteler" from a Low German word meaning "sloppy worker," which itself traces to an even older verb that meant "to do sloppy work" or "to dirty." Perhaps the snide designation was inspired by the fact that the traditional sutler followed troops and sold them supplies at hugely inflated prices.

Origin and Etymology of sutler

obsolete Dutch soeteler, from Low German suteler sloppy worker, camp cook


First Known Use: 1599


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up sutler? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

at a gallop

Get Word of the Day daily email!