noun, often attributive
ca·det | \kə-ˈdet \

Definition of cadet 

1a : a younger brother or son

b : youngest son

c : a younger branch of a family or a member of it

2a : one in training for a military or naval commission especially : a student in a service academy

b : a student at a police academy : a person who is in training to become a police officer During his swearing-in speech last August, the 54-year-old head cop pointed out that he still wears the same size uniform that he wore when he was a cadet at the Police Academy 34 years ago.— Bernard C. Parks

3 : a student at a police academy : a person who is in training to become a police officer Police departments typically require cadets to pass a fitness test at the police academy, but not many require officers to stay in shape after that.— Christopher Swope

4 slang : pimp

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Other Words from cadet

cadetship \-ˌship \ noun

Examples of cadet in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The now-viral photograph posted on the Braves’ Twitter account shows an unnamed fan holding an umbrella over the head of a Junior ROTC cadet. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, "Moving Photo of Braves Fan Holding Umbrella for Marine Corps Junior ROTC Cadet Goes Viral," 29 May 2018 At 13, Princess Elizabeth had a notable meeting with Prince Philip (then 18) on a tour of the Royal Naval College where the young prince was a naval cadet. Vogue, "The 20 Most Memorable Royal Weddings of All Time," 11 May 2018 Along the way, the cadets could qualify for their third straight bowl game for the first time in school history. Matt Murschel,, "Army on verge of third straight winning season, Black Knights No. 55 in 2018 preseason college football rankings," 2 July 2018 The cadets have all graduated from the Police Academy, but this is just the second week of their seven-week training session with Savannah Police Department. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, ""That's a child": Video shows dramatic rescue of missing 2-year-old in the woods," 28 June 2018 The heir presumptive was just 13 at the time — five years younger than the naval cadet — but quickly fell in love. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Prince Louis's Christening Date Has a Special Meaning to the Royal Family," 20 June 2018 The images Spenser Rapone posted on Twitter from his West Point graduation were intentionally shocking: In one, the smirking cadet opens his dress uniform to expose a T-shirt with a blood-red image of socialist icon Che Guevara. Mary Esch, USA TODAY, "US Army boots West Point officer who touted communist revolution during graduation ceremony," 19 June 2018 Bane, the cadet, took a six-pack of beer from the cooler. David Anderson, The Aegis, "Harford liquor board fines four businesses for selling to a minor," 7 June 2018 The cadets are trained and supervised by Windsor Police Department personnel, many of whom volunteered for the day. Dennis Hohenberger, Courant Community, "1040 EZ 5K Run Benefits Police Cadets," 2 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cadet.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of cadet

1610, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for cadet

French, from Gascon capdet chief, from Late Latin capitellum, diminutive of Latin capit-, caput head — more at head

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Dictionary Entries near cadet



cade oil


cadet blue

cadet cloth

cadet gray

Statistics for cadet

Last Updated

10 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cadet

The first known use of cadet was in 1610

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English Language Learners Definition of cadet

: a student at a military school who is preparing to be an officer

: a person who is being trained to be a police officer


ca·det | \kə-ˈdet \

Kids Definition of cadet

: a student in a military school or college

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