Attested in English since 1545, from French troupe (back-formation of troupeau, diminutive of Medieval Latin troppus "flock") and Middle French trouppe (from Old French trope (“band, company, troop”)), both of Germanic origin from Frankish *þorp (“assembly, gathering”), from Proto-Germanic *þurpą (“village, land, estate”), from Proto-Indo-European *treb- (“dwelling, settlement”).
troop (plural troops)
- (collective) A collection of people; a number; a multitude (in general).
- c. 1606, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Macbeth”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act V, scene iii]:
- That which should accompany old age — / As honour, love, obedience, troops of friends — / I must not look to have.
- (military) A small unit of cavalry or armour commanded by a captain, corresponding to a platoon or company of infantry.
- A detachment of soldiers or police, especially horse artillery, armour, or state troopers.
- (chiefly in the plural) A group of soldiers; military forces.
- c. 1591–1592, William Shakespeare, “The Third Part of Henry the Sixt, […]”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act I, scene i], page 147, column 2:
- Ah, knovv you not the Citie fauours them, / And they haue troupes of Souldiers at their beck?
- c. 1603–1604, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Othello, the Moore of Venice”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act III, scene iii]:
- Farewell the plumed troop, and the big wars.
- 1849–1861, Thomas Babington Macaulay, chapter 1, in The History of England from the Accession of James the Second, volume (please specify |volume=I to V), London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, OCLC 1069526323:
- His troops moved to victory with the precision of machines.
- (nonstandard) A company of actors; a troupe.
- 1784, William Coxe, Travels into Poland, Russia, Sweden and Denmark:
- In order to form the new troop to a greater degree of perfection, the four principal actors were placed in the seminary of the cadets
- (Scouting) A chapter of a national girl or boy scouts organization, consisting of one or more patrols of 6 to 8 youngsters each.
- Lord Baden-Powell of Gilwell (1920) Aids To Scoutmastership, page 6: “It is the Patrol System that makes the Troop, and all Scouting for that matter, a real co-operative effort.”
- (collective) A group of baboons.
- A group of meerkat families living together.
- A particular roll of the drum; a quick march.
- (mycology) Mushrooms that are in a close group but not close enough to be called a cluster.
- To move in numbers; to come or gather in crowds or troops.
- 1918, W[illiam] B[abington] Maxwell, chapter V, in The Mirror and the Lamp, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, OCLC 4293071:
- Then everybody once more knelt, and soon the blessing was pronounced. The choir and the clergy trooped out slowly, […] , down the nave to the western door. […] At a seemingly immense distance the surpliced group stopped to say the last prayer.
- To march on; to go forward in haste.
- To move or march as if in a crowd.
- The children trooped into the room.
- troop the colour (British, military)
- “troop” in the Canadian Oxford Dictionary, Second Edition, Oxford University Press, 2004.
- Douglas Harper (2001–2022), “troop”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.