From Middle English constable, cunstable, constabil, connestable, cunestable, from Old French conestable, from Latin comes stabulī (“officer of the stables”). For the sense-development; compare marshal. Doublet of connétable.
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈkʌnstəbəl/
Audio (Southern England) (file)
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈkɑnstəbəl/
- (General Australian) IPA(key): /ˈkɒnstəbəl/
constable (plural constables)
- One holding the lowest rank in most Commonwealth police forces. (See also chief constable.)
- 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 19, in The China Governess:
- As soon as Julia returned with a constable, Timothy, who was on the point of exhaustion, prepared to give over to him gratefully. The newcomer turned out to be a powerful youngster, fully trained and eager to help, and he stripped off his tunic at once.
- (UK, law) A police officer or an officer with equivalent powers.
- (historical) An officer of a noble court in the Middle Ages, usually a senior army commander. (See also marshal).
- The warden of a castle.
- (US) An elected or appointed public officer, usually at municipal level, responsible for maintaining order or serving writs and court orders.
- (Channel Islands) An elected head of a parish (also known as a connétable)
- A large butterfly, Dichorragia nesimachus, family Nymphalidae, of Asia.
constable m or f by sense (plural constables)
- constable (police title)