Definition of martinet in English:



  • A person who demands complete obedience; a strict disciplinarian.

    ‘the woman in charge was a martinet who treated all those beneath her like children’
    ‘a martinet of a staff officer’
    • ‘The Governor was prone to military simplicity - ‘a perfect martinet in military discipline’ was how the senior official in the Colonial Office described him.’
    • ‘The crew on board the aging vessel is a mix of Namibians, Cubans and white South Africans, overseen by a martinet whom everyone dislikes.’
    • ‘Shortly before the concert began, one of the ushers - merciless martinets who patrol the hall with a critical eye - saw that my placement did not conform with their approved seating plan.’
    • ‘Concerned to limit the smothering, Fritz sent the boy off to the barracks, whence he emerged a martinet much given to fancy uniforms, which he would change as often as 10 times a day.’
    • ‘But he was anything but an unyielding martinet.’
    • ‘She was to all intents and purposes a bit of a martinet but if you did the work, performed reasonably well, paid attention and aimed for a reasonable French accent, you could get along with her.’
    • ‘To the midfielder, the perception of him as a mirthless martinet is a failure to understand the greatest manager this country has produced.’
    • ‘He combined a martinet's toughness with a passion for exotic pornography, which he would eagerly show to honoured guests in the privacy of his cabin.’
    • ‘He was a self-disciplined martinet and a control freak who mapped out his sons' schedules, even their playtimes.’
    • ‘He sits in the court with a sardonic but kindly female family judge and a humourless martinet.’
    • ‘Amidst the heroes, there were also a handful of cowards and martinets.’
    • ‘The man naturally looks a bit crestfallen and the secretary, letting down his martinet's mask for the moment, gestures with his head to an elderly gent, sitting nearby in a large leather upholstered chair, his head buried in the Times.’
    • ‘He understands he can't be a martinet with a group of seasoned professionals.’
    • ‘It's often not easy for a manager to ‘walk the tightrope’ between commanding the respect of his team and risk being regarded as a martinet.’
    • ‘In the worst sense, he was a monomaniacal martinet whose focus on his bailiwick to the exclusion of everything else is phenomenal.’
    • ‘It is run by an ex-army martinet absurdly out of touch and absent-mindedly rooting about in irrelevances.’
    • ‘The movie portrays him as a dedicated martinet interested only in victory.’
    • ‘‘The officer,’ he reasoned, ‘will not make that martinet's error a second time.’
    • ‘She was a silky, martinet of a woman when it came to her money, which she would gladly take in and spend only the amount to feed and clothe the ones who worked under her and furnish the house as lavishly as was needed.’
    • ‘He had a well-earned reputation as uncompromising martinet.’
    disciplinarian, slave driver, stickler for discipline, taskmaster, taskmistress, authoritarian, tyrant
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Late 17th century (denoting the system of drill invented by Martinet): named after Jean Martinet, 17th-century French drill master.