gen·​darme | \ˈzhän-ˌdärm also ˈjän- \

Definition of gendarme 

1 : a member of a body of soldiers especially in France serving as an armed police force for the maintenance of public order

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Synonyms for gendarme


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

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Examples of gendarme in a Sentence

the senator reiterated his conviction that it is not the role of the United States to be a kind of global gendarme

Recent Examples on the Web

On Saturday, five gendarmes and one civilian were killed when their vehicle hit an explosive device between the rural communes of Boungou and Ougarou in the far east. Brahima Ouedraogo, Fox News, "In heart of West Africa, Burkina Faso faces rising extremism," 15 Aug. 2018 About halfway into the ordeal, the gendarmes arrived. Rawiya Kameir, Vogue, "Does Citizenship Shape Identity? A “Third-Culture” Writer Takes Stock," 19 Oct. 2018 Since then France has tightened its terrorism laws, expanded intelligence collection, and its police and gendarmes have moved aggressively to halt attacks as quickly as possible. New York Times, "Paris Attack Leaves 1 Dead and 4 Wounded by Knife-Wielding Terrorist," 12 May 2018 Two migrants said gendarmes fired on them, and multiple videos showed armed, uniformed men standing guard. Lori Hinnant,, "Algeria expels thousands of migrants in forced Sahara march," 25 June 2018 The laser rifle is reportedly ready for mass production and will enter service with the People’s Armed Police, a heavily armed paramilitary law enforcement agency similar to European gendarmes. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "China Claims to Have a Laser Assault Rifle That Can Set Clothes on Fire," 3 July 2018 Arnaud Beltrame helped organize a drill for his fellow gendarmes that simulated a terrorist attack on a supermarket. Stacy Meichtry, WSJ, "French Officer Slain by Terrorist Is Hailed for Saving Others," 24 Mar. 2018 In this Tuesday, May 8, 2018 photo provided by Liberian migrant Ju Dennis, Algerian gendarmes carrying AK-47 assault rifles load migrants onto trucks to drop them off at the Niger border. Washington Post, "Walk or die: Algeria abandons 13,000 migrants in the Sahara," 25 June 2018 West German guards would sometimes wave you through; the French gendarmes, with their machineguns, were more threatening. The Economist, "Europe’s passport-free zone faces a grim future," 21 June 2018

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

1793, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for gendarme

French, from Middle French, back-formation from gensdarmes, plural of gent d'armes, literally, armed people

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Last Updated

8 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for gendarme

The first known use of gendarme was in 1793

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English Language Learners Definition of gendarme

: a police officer; especially : a police officer in a country where French is spoken

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More from Merriam-Webster on gendarme

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with gendarme

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Spanish Central: Translation of gendarme

Britannica English: Translation of gendarme for Arabic Speakers

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