dra·​goon | \ drə-ˈgün How to pronounce dragoon (audio) , dra- \

Definition of dragoon

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a member of a European military unit formerly composed of heavily armed mounted troops


dragooned; dragooning; dragoons

Definition of dragoon (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to subjugate or persecute by harsh use of troops
2 : to force into submission or compliance especially by violent measures

Illustration of dragoon

Illustration of dragoon


dragoon 1

In the meaning defined above

Did you know?

A dragoon was a mounted European infantryman of the 17th and 18th centuries armed with a firearm called by the same name. No arm-twisting should be needed to get you to believe that the firearm's name, which came to English from French, is derived from its semblance to a fire-breathing dragon when fired. History has recorded the dragonish nature of the dragoons who persecuted the French Protestants in the 17th century during the reign of Louis XIV. The persecution by means of the dragoons led to the use of the word dragoon as a verb.

Examples of dragoon in a Sentence

Verb she was dragooned into agreeing to the fraudulent scheme
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The words were emblazoned beneath an image of the cannon on a battle flag flown at the Battle of Gonzalez where Mexican dragoons skirmished unsuccessfully with the Texian rebels to decide the matter. Myke Cole, The New Republic, 1 Aug. 2019 The hat is said to have been picked up as a war trophy by a Dutch dragoon captain after the Battle of Waterloo, where a coalition of European armies defeated the French on June 18, 1815. Aurelien Breeden, New York Times, 18 June 2018 The two companies of U.S. Army dragoons that arrived eight months before Texas joined the union in 1846 followed Republic of Texas volunteers, the Mexican army and Spaniards who established the city in 1718. Sig Christenson, San Antonio Express-News, 3 May 2018 The camp hands out small Confederate flags at town events and lays a wreath at the site of two monuments to the dragoons on the last Monday in April, when the state celebrates Confederate Memorial Day. Washington Post, 12 Sep. 2017 Prattville Dragoons monument in Prattville, above, erected 1916, to honor unit that fought in the Battle of Shiloh. AL.com, 17 Aug. 2017 The weekend’s stars are the Virginia militia, British Dragoons and Redcoats—all armed and dressed accordingly. Katie Jackson, Fox News, 15 June 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Simeon of Cyrene would have been the innocent brunch-goer, and the Romans dragoon him into Christ’s Passion, giving him an honor every human on earth should have desired. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, 2 Apr. 2021 The prospect of a new law that could allow China to dragoon suspects in mainland prisons amplified fears further. Suzanne Sataline, The Atlantic, 21 May 2020 Brundage was a standout quarterback and punter in high school who gave it up to play baseball at Oregon State, then was dragooned onto the 1984 football team when all the regular punters got hurt. Henry Schulman, SFChronicle.com, 29 Nov. 2019 Even when earlier on three or more subgroups are doing entirely different, often intense things, the mood is controlled, involuntary, dragooned. Alastair Macaulay, New York Times, 11 July 2018 Now Dracaena fragrans, aka the corn plant, and spider plants are being dragooned into doing the job. Joe Queenan, WSJ, 26 July 2018 Many Syrians flinch at the idea of going back, fearful that they will be killed, forced into camps or dragooned into the army. The Economist, 30 June 2018 The relatively small number of women who are fertile are dragooned as handmaids, child-bearing slaves for married couples. David Wiegand, San Francisco Chronicle, 20 Apr. 2018 He's dragooned away from this life into a case investigating an insurance claim by a former Wehrmacht soldier who served in Greece during the war and may have been trafficking loot stolen from Jews being deported to Auschwitz. Steve Donoghue, The Christian Science Monitor, 5 Apr. 2018 See More

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

First Known Use of dragoon


1604, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1689, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for dragoon


French dragon dragon, dragoon, from Middle French

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The first known use of dragoon was in 1604

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Dictionary Entries Near dragoon

dragon worm


dragoon bird

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Cite this Entry

“Dragoon.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dragoon. Accessed 13 Aug. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on dragoon

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about dragoon


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