From Middle English sergeant, sergeaunt, serjent, serjaunt, serjawnt, sergant, from Old French sergeant, sergent, serjant, sergient, sergant (“sergeant, servant”), from Medieval Latin servientem, accusative of serviens (“a servant, vassal, soldier, apparitor”), from Latin serviēns (“serving”), present participle of serviō (“serve, be a slave to”). More at servant.
The fish is so called because of its stripes, supposed to resemble a sergeant's insignia of rank.
sergeant (plural sergeants)
- (military) UK army rank with NATO code OR-6, senior to corporal and junior to warrant officer ranks.
- The highest rank of noncommissioned officer in some non-naval military forces and police.
- 1928, Lawrence R. Bourne, chapter 13, in Well Tackled!:
- “Yes, there are two distinct sets of footprints, both wearing rubber shoes—one I think ordinary plimsolls, the other goloshes,” replied the sergeant.
- (law, historical) A lawyer of the highest rank, equivalent to the doctor of civil law.
- (Can we find and add a quotation of Blackstone to this entry?)
- (Britain, historical) A title sometimes given to the servants of the sovereign.
- sergeant surgeon, i.e. a servant, or attendant, surgeon
- A fish, the cobia.
- Any of various nymphalid butterflies of the of the genus Athyma; distinguished from the false sergeants.
- A bailiff.
- A servant in monastic offices.