martinet

noun mar·ti·net \ ˌmär-tə-ˈnet \

Definition of martinet

1 :a strict disciplinarian
  • The prison's warden was a cruel martinet.
2 :a person who stresses a rigid adherence to the details of forms and methods
  • a martinet in conducting meetings of the society, he never tolerated any sign of levity or indecorum
  • —D. J. Boorstin

martinet was our Word of the Day on 01/27/2010. Hear the podcast!

Examples of martinet in a Sentence

  1. The prison's warden was a cruel martinet.

Recent Examples of martinet from the Web

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

Did You Know?

When France's King Louis XIV appointed Lieutenant Colonel Jean Martinet to be inspector general of the infantry in the late 17th century, he made a wise choice. As a drillmaster, Martinet trained his troops to advance into battle in precise linear formations and to fire in volleys only upon command, thus making the most effective use of inaccurate muskets - and making the French army one of the best on the continent. He also gave English a new word. Martinet has been used synonymously with "strict disciplinarian" since the 1730s.

Origin and Etymology of martinet

Jean Martinet, 17th century French army officer


MARTINET Defined for English Language Learners

martinet

noun

Definition of martinet for English Language Learners

  • : a person who is very strict and demands obedience from others


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