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From troop +‎ -er, from French troupe. The sense of “one who endures adversity” comes from trouper (member of an acting troupe) but through assimilation with the sense of “soldier” has come to be usually spelled “trooper”.


  • IPA(key): /ˈtɹuːpə(ɹ)/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -uːpə(ɹ)


trooper (plural troopers)

  1. (military) A soldier of private rank in cavalry or armour. [from 1640]
    Synonyms: cavalryman, horse soldier, crewman, armored soldier, (Canadian military slang) zipperhead, (abbreviation) Tpr
  2. (military) A cavalry horse; a charger.
  3. (military) A soldier.
  4. (Britain, nautical, military) A troopship.
    • 1947 January and February, “Notes and News: New Southern Channel Steamer”, in Railway Magazine, page 49:
      She was built by William Denny & Bros. Ltd., and launched in 1939, but went immediately on active service as a trooper.
  5. (US, law enforcement) Ellipsis of state trooper. [from 1911]
  6. (Australia, law enforcement) A mounted policeman. [from 1858]
  7. (figurative, colloquial) One who endures adversity or hardship with an attitude of stoicism and persistence. [from 1959]
    Synonyms: survivor, tough cookie
    He was a real trooper about taking care of the kids for the weekend.
    • 2005, Justin Watral, Firehouse 101, page 272:
      Because his father and brothers were in the department, he had to be. She knew he was never really comfortable with the job but still he did it like a trooper.

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trooper (third-person singular simple present troopers, present participle troopering, simple past and past participle troopered)

  1. To work as a trooper.
    • 2009, Dana Stabenow, Whisper to the Blood, →ISBN, page 153:
      Maybe I should quit troopering and hire on with Global Harvest.
  2. To work steadily at an unpleasant job without complaint.
    • 2011, G. Robert Jones, Discard, →ISBN, page 111:
      Carrie handed out tools, helped hold a measuring tape, and troopered on where she could,
    • 2013, C.A. McJack, Fate's Twisted Circle - Volume 2, →ISBN, page 120:
      But she troopered on, plastering a smile on her face and giving her a warm greeting and inwardly reminded herself that Ms. Madeleine was of no threat to her, as if she had a fear of Jack-in-the-boxes.