martinet

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noun mar·ti·net \ˌmär-tə-ˈnet\

Definition of martinet

  1. 1 :  a strict disciplinarian The prison's warden was a cruel martinet.

  2. 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.

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


First Known Use: 1737


MARTINET Defined for English Language Learners

martinet

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noun mar·ti·net \ˌmär-tə-ˈnet\

Definition of martinet for English Language Learners

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

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holding stubbornly to a belief or view

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