con·​sta·​ble | \ ˈkän(t)-stə-bəl, ˈkən(t)- \

Definition of constable 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a high officer of a royal court or noble household especially in the Middle Ages
2 : the warden or governor of a royal castle or a fortified town
3a : a public officer usually of a town or township responsible for keeping the peace and for minor judicial duties
b chiefly British : police officer especially : one ranking below sergeant


biographical name
Con·​sta·​ble | \ ˈkən(t)-stə-bəl, ˈkän(t)-\

Definition of Constable (Entry 2 of 2)

John 1776–1837 English painter

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Synonyms for constable

Synonyms: Noun

bobby [British], bull [slang], cop, copper, flatfoot [slang], fuzz, gendarme, lawman, officer, police officer, policeman, shamus [slang]

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Examples of constable in a Sentence


reported the crime to the local constable

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Bob Valdez, the aging town constable, prosecutes his relentless, suicidal crusade against a powerful horse smuggler and his gang to get restitution money for an Indian woman whose husband was mistakenly killed. Sam Sacks, WSJ, "Fiction: A Proving Ground for Men and Storytellers," 16 Aug. 2018 Pappas worked from 1983 through 1995 as a peace officer with two Houston-area constable offices. Amy Lieu, Fox News, "Suspect in killing of HW Bush's doctor may have 'hit list,' report says," 3 Aug. 2018 Testing to become constables, low-level Indian police officers, began Tuesday. Washington Post, "Indian authorities break up police test-cheating gang," 19 June 2018 By the time deputy constables arrived, Johnson was gone, officials said. Samantha Ketterer, Houston Chronicle, "Man charged with murder in shooting death of woman in north Houston," 8 June 2018 One is police constable Ken Lam's ability to arrest suspect Alek Minassian peaceably, which has received worldwide praise. USA TODAY, "What changed since Bill Cosby's first trial? #MeToo," 26 Apr. 2018 In hopes of collecting on Notre Dame’s judgment, Sapire said a Bexar County constable went to the Basse Road and the Bank of America Plaza addresses in February. Patrick Danner, San Antonio Express-News, "Troubled tech startup Vysk seems to have gone stealth," 23 June 2018 But after only a few weeks as a constable and a year’s training, the former Bank of England official was put in charge of 100-odd cops. The Economist, "How the career of the British bobby is changing," 24 May 2018 In 1931, an 8-year-old Australian Aboriginal girl named Daisy Kadibil was snatched up by a local constable and taken from her family in the Pilbara region of western Australia to an assimilation camp some 800 miles away. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Daisy Kadibil’s Story of Escape Called Attention to the “Stolen Generations” of Aboriginal Australians," 29 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'constable.' 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 constable


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for constable


Middle English conestable, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin comes stabuli, literally, officer of the stable

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Time Traveler for constable

The first known use of constable was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for constable



English Language Learners Definition of constable

: a public official whose job is similar to that of a police officer but who is elected or appointed rather than hired


con·​sta·​ble | \ ˈkän-stə-bəl, ˈkən-\

Kids Definition of constable

: a police officer usually of a village or small town


con·​sta·​ble | \ ˈkän-stə-bəl, ˈkən- \

Legal Definition of constable 

: a public officer usually of a town or township responsible for keeping the peace and for minor judicial duties

History and Etymology for constable

Old French conestable military commander, chief of the royal household, from Late Latin comes stabuli, literally, officer of the stable

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Comments on constable

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


a person who helps groups work together

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