gen·​darme | \ ˈzhän-ˌdärm also ˈjän- How to pronounce gendarme (audio) \

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

The strictness isn’t limited to Toubkal; there’s a new police checkpoint on the road leading into town, where gendarmes hand out tickets to people who aren’t wearing their seat belts. Rachel Monroe, Outside Online, "Last winter, Moroccan officials found two hikers dead on the trail to the highest peak in the Atlas Mountains. The international investigation that followed revealed the fragility of the adventure travel economy, as well as what happens when a small tourist hub is suddenly made strange by violence.," 29 July 2019 The man contacted the local gendarme, who gathered up the body and photographed it. Matthew Wolfe, Harper's magazine, "Without a Trace," 10 Feb. 2019 The presidential palace has a complex security unit of military gendarmes and police. Elaine Ganley, Fox News, "Car, gun, money: Scandal over Macron's ex-aide grips France," 1 Aug. 2018 The second man was apparently a gendarme in the reserves who Le Monde said had worked with Benalla in the past. Elaine Ganley, Fox News, "Macron's security aide detained, was filmed beating activist," 20 July 2018 The fourth victim, a gendarme who stood in for a female hostage and was shot, died early Saturday. Time, "3 Explosive Devices Found at French Supermarket After Deadly Rampage, Official Says," 24 Mar. 2018 Now an armed separatist movement is gaining traction, kidnapping government officials and killing gendarmes. Siobhán O'grady, Washington Post, "Africa’s next civil war could be in Cameroon," 30 May 2018 French gendarmes block an access to Trebes, where a man took hostages at a supermarket on March 23, 2018 in Trebes, southwest France. Lisa Marie Segarra, Time, "3 Hostages Dead, Suspect Killed by Police: The Latest on the French Hostage Siege," 23 Mar. 2018 China likely sees high demand for the vehicles in the Third World, particularly Africa and the Middle East, as well as domestic demand for the People's Armed Police (China's version of European gendarme-style paramilitary police). Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "China Parades Its Newest Tanks and Armored Vehicles," 8 Nov. 2016

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

4 Aug 2019

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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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for gendarme

Spanish Central: Translation of gendarme

Britannica English: Translation of gendarme for Arabic Speakers

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recurring in steady succession

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