constable

noun

con·​sta·​ble ˈkän(t)-stə-bəl How to pronounce constable (audio) ˈkən(t)- How to pronounce constable (audio)
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
3
a
: 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

Examples of constable in a Sentence

reported the crime to the local constable
Recent Examples on the Web When the constable brought the pair to the Community Justice Center, Marion County Sheriff’s deputies refused to take them into custody. Sarah Nelson, The Indianapolis Star, 20 May 2024 New South Wales police said in a statement Wednesday that the charges against a 33-year-old senior constable who allegedly Tasered her had been upgraded on the advice of public prosecutors. Rachel Pannett, Washington Post, 29 Nov. 2023 Mack could almost hear the constable’s brow furrow at this, and turned to him in time to see his mouth open as words of confusion and disbelief began to form in his larynx. Quartz Staff, Quartz, 19 Mar. 2024 Then the constable arrested two township employees. Sarah Nelson, The Indianapolis Star, 23 Feb. 2024 See all Example Sentences for constable 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'constable.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near constable

const

constable

Constable

Cite this Entry

“Constable.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/constable. Accessed 19 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

constable

noun
con·​sta·​ble ˈkän(t)-stə-bəl How to pronounce constable (audio) ˈkən(t)- How to pronounce constable (audio)
1
: a high officer of a royal court or noble household in the Middle Ages
2
: the person in charge of a royal castle or a town
3
: a police officer usually of a village or small town
Etymology

Middle English conestable "chief military or police officer of a court or royal domain," from early French conestable (same meaning), from Latin comes stabuli, literally, "officer of the stables," from comes "companion, member of a royal court" and stabuli, genitive of stabulum "stable" — related to count entry 3, stable entry 1

Word Origin
A constable in the Middle Ages was a very important official in a court, even though the title meant "officer of the stable." Early French conestable came from the Latin phrase comes stabuli, meaning "officer of the stable." Being in charge of a ruler's horses in those days was something like being in charge of all the vehicles—tanks, trucks, airplanes, helicopters—of a modern army. As time went on, the title remained, but it came to describe the person in charge of guarding a castle or fortified city. From this idea came the modern sense: "a police officer."

Legal Definition

constable

noun
con·​sta·​ble ˈkän-stə-bəl, ˈkən- How to pronounce constable (audio)
: a public officer usually of a town or township responsible for keeping the peace and for minor judicial duties
Etymology

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

Biographical Definition

Constable

biographical name

Con·​sta·​ble ˈkən(t)-stə-bəl How to pronounce Constable (audio)
ˈkän(t)-
John 1776–1837 English painter

More from Merriam-Webster on constable

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