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”). Doublet of servant and servient.
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.
- 1765, William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England, book I (Of the Rights of Persons), Oxford: […] Clarendon Press, OCLC 65350522:
- All other sergeants and barristers indiscriminately (except in the Court of Common Pleas, where only sergeants are admitted) may take upon them the protection and defense of any suitors.
- (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.
- angerest, enragest, estrange, grantees, greatens, negaters, reagents, rentages, reägents, seargent, segreant, sternage
- sergeant (non-commissioned officer in several armed forces)
This rank is in use in the Dutch army, navy and air force, in the Belgian army and air force and in the Surinamese army.