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See also: Constable



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.



constable (plural constables)

  1. One holding the lowest rank in most Commonwealth police forces. (See also chief constable.)
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 19, in The China Governess[1]:
      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.
  2. (UK, law) A police officer or an officer with equivalent powers.
  3. (historical) An officer of a noble court in the Middle Ages, usually a senior army commander. (See also marshal).
  4. The warden of a castle.
  5. (US) An elected or appointed public officer, usually at municipal level, responsible for maintaining order or serving writs and court orders.
  6. (Channel Islands) An elected head of a parish (also known as a connétable)
  7. A large butterfly, Dichorragia nesimachus, family Nymphalidae, of Asia.


Derived terms[edit]



constable (third-person singular simple present constables, present participle constabling, simple past and past participle constabled)

  1. (intransitive, dated) To act as a constable or policeman.




constable m or f by sense (plural constables)

  1. constable (police title)

Further reading[edit]