con·​sta·​ble | \ ˈkän(t)-stə-bəl How to pronounce constable (audio) , ˈkən(t)- How to pronounce constable (audio) \

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 How to pronounce Constable (audio) , ˈkän(t)- \

Definition of Constable (Entry 2 of 2)

John 1776–1837 English painter

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Synonyms for constable

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of constable in a Sentence

Noun reported the crime to the local constable
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Two of them, Simon Ndyalvane, a sergeant known in the community as Scorpion, and Caylene Whiteboy, a constable, were said to have been at the scene of shooting, and face charges of murder and obstruction of justice. Lynsey Chutel, New York Times, "‘Coloured Lives Matter’: A South African Police Shooting Like No Other," 21 Sep. 2020 From Tunisia, the tapestries somehow made their way to Constantinople, where they were acquired by a constable who returned them to the Vatican. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, "For One Week Only, Raphael’s Tapestries Return to the Sistine Chapel," 18 Feb. 2020 Steve Johnson, assistant chief constable at Police Scotland, said officers were on the scene within two minutes of reports of an incident at 12:50 p.m., and that armed police arrived shortly afterwards. Washington Post, "Police not treating Glasgow stabbings as terrorism," 26 June 2020 Kevin Quinn, the communications director for the constable, says the unit has removed 20,000 gallons of contaminated water from the site. Abigail Rosenthal, Houston Chronicle, "'Thousands of gallons' of oil illegally buried in Crosby, leaking into waterway, constable says," 5 June 2020 Ortiz said neither the deputy nor the constable heard the gunshot or any shouting prior to Roby admitting to the shooting. Caleb Downs, San Antonio Express-News, "SAPD: Woman killed during altercation; boyfriend arrested," 26 Apr. 2018 Even if constables stood on parish boundaries, complying with the quarantine demanded a thousand everyday acts of bravery by those affected. 1843, "Eyam revisited: lessons from a plague village," 16 Apr. 2020 Running for constable for Precinct 4 are republicans D.J. Alvarez and Justin West. John Delapp, Houston Chronicle, "Filing period for March primaries in Galveston County comes to a close," 13 Dec. 2019 The new watchdogs have power to hire and fire chief constables, to write policing plans for the force to follow and to set local taxes to pay for policing. The Economist, "Watchdogs without bite Why Britain’s police commissioners are not living up to their promise," 12 Mar. 2020

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

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for constable

Last Updated

29 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Constable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for constable


How to pronounce Constable (audio) How to pronounce Constable (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of constable

US : 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 How to pronounce constable (audio) , ˈkən- \

Kids Definition of constable

: a police officer usually of a village or small town


con·​sta·​ble | \ ˈkän-stə-bəl, ˈkən- How to pronounce constable (audio) \

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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