Definition of sergeant in English:



  • 1A rank of non-commissioned officer in the army or air force, above corporal and below staff sergeant.

    • ‘Because of the increased number of volunteer soldiers, the ministry will phase out recruitment of non-commissioned officers, including air force and army sergeants and naval petty officers.’
    • ‘Lessons have different levels of difficulty to reflect the roles of either a sergeant or a warrant officer.’
    • ‘It is us, staff sergeants and sergeants, who don't want to take the time to train and mentor soldiers.’
    • ‘On the ‘digital’ battlefield there is a real likelihood that brigade commanders will talk directly to sergeants or corporals commanding sections and that intermediate officers will be sidelined.’
    • ‘This cadre platoon consisted not only of more senior staff sergeants but promising corporal/specialists and sergeants as well.’
    • ‘I am a female sergeant in the Army National Guard, and a single parent of one.’
    • ‘It has 3000 soldiers, including privates, sergeants and officers.’
    • ‘The point out that it takes years, not months, to produced a trained, effective infantry soldier and more years to season sergeants and warrant officers.’
    • ‘The U.S. military is the world's best because its sergeants and warrant officers are without equal.’
    • ‘The final section of the book covers the beginning of the resistance from below, among the corporals and sergeants of the old army, Islamic activists and Arab nationalists.’
    • ‘The Defence People Committee has endorsed an initiative to offer completion bonuses to selected corporals and sergeants in three critical trades.’
    • ‘Corporals, instead of sergeants, lead the terminal crews, some with only two to three years in the military.’
    • ‘The person in distress was an Army sergeant who had been on land-navigation and survival training in the mountains of West Virginia.’
    • ‘In spite of that, he was given an overall pass, along with eight other soldiers, who included a sergeant and warrant officer first class, who had also failed aspects of the test.’
    • ‘There are paintings and photographs of generals, lieutenants, sergeants, privates, secretaries and commanders-in-chief.’
    • ‘The heart of any Army is not its generals, but its young sergeants, captains and colonels.’
    • ‘"Our air superiority is incredible," a marine sergeant told Associated Press.’
    • ‘She worked as a cook in the airmen's and sergeant's mess.’
    • ‘We must embed jointness as a leadership trait from sergeant to colonel.’
    • ‘But don't worry, this isn't boot camp, where the sergeant barks at you all day long.’
    1. 1.1British A police officer ranking below an inspector.
      • ‘A 15-strong team of Lothian and Borders police officers, including a chief inspector, two sergeants and 12 police constables will police the new building.’
      • ‘But there are still ten constables, two sergeants and a detective inspector operating from the incident room at a secret location in Bradford.’
      • ‘Bradford's public is suffering because of a shortage of police sergeants and inspectors, it was claimed today.’
      • ‘Resupplied with coffee and fruit cake, if very little in the way of useful information, the chief inspector and his sergeant went on their way after half an hour.’
      • ‘Control was through a rigid hierarchy with the police commissioner at its apex; officious and often severe discipline was exercised by inspectors and sergeants.’
      • ‘Some of the things which I said in relation to the range of responsibilities that people at my level have apply also to sergeants and inspectors.’
      • ‘It presupposes that if you become an inspector or a sergeant, you ought to become a good manager.’
      • ‘The decision that this should happen was taken by a police sergeant.’
      • ‘What I would say is if you get a conflict between a sergeant and another sergeant or a police constable, it is up then to the borough commander to try and resolve that.’
      • ‘Led by an inspector, each Local Policing Team will have its own sergeants and constables and will be accountable for police performance and responding to community concerns.’
      • ‘I am not sure about the petty offences, for example, the stealing of the police sergeant's badge that occurred on 23 May.’
      • ‘Constables and sergeants wore white gloves, and inspectors and the more senior ranks wore black or brown leather gloves.’
      • ‘Since the launch, the town centre has been covered by placing one sergeant, five police constables and two special constables in the town centre, with back-up from police cars.’
      • ‘I am a police officer, a police sergeant with the Cleveland Constabulary, and I am currently the General Secretary of the Police Federation of England and Wales.’
      • ‘Outside the front gate, two policemen with an over-enthusiastic sergeant stood and looked at the gnomes, who looked back, curious but still as stone.’
      • ‘You can't have it both ways and look fondly back to when a sergeant and four policemen lived and worked in the community.’
      • ‘A sergeant or a constable of police would make a decision, would he or she not, whether to prosecute for a traffic offence?’
      • ‘After I produced identification, the police waited for their sergeant to arrive before placing me under arrest without stating the charge.’
      • ‘The Chief Constable, who had already decided that the sergeant should be dismissed, sat next to the chairman of the appeals committee and remained present at the deliberations.’
      • ‘In the team will also be three detective constables and a sergeant who will be dedicated to tracking the addicts through the criminal justice system’
    2. 1.2US A police officer ranking below a lieutenant.
      • ‘Behind the desk, a lieutenant, a sergeant, and a police officer were conversing.’
      • ‘A sergeant at the police station cut hair from his head, neck, and part of his left shoulder blade.’
      • ‘At the Police station, a sergeant takes down my story and informs me I've been the victim of online Identity theft.’
      • ‘One day when I was about 14, a police sergeant saw me drinking a beer on the street.’
      • ‘A sergeant detailed the penalties facing bartenders who keep pouring.’
      • ‘Three sergeants taken off patrol duty for the rest of the night accompanied their every bathroom visit.’
      • ‘Mike stood at attention until the closest sergeant reached him with handcuffs.’
      • ‘The latter was on her cell phone when she spotted Amanda being ushered toward a counter, where a female sergeant was stationed.’
      • ‘The sergeant was behind the wheel of the police car.’
      • ‘I was stopped by a sergeant with the Richmond Heights, Missouri, police department.’
      • ‘It seemed almost incomprehensible how much his life had changed and all of the things that had happened since he had retired from his job as police sergeant.’
      • ‘It was the Modesto police sergeant who thought of the idea.’
      • ‘Before long, they were recognized at a truck stop by an alert police sergeant in Indiana.’
      • ‘Perhaps a half-dozen other cops, including a couple of sergeants and their white-shirted boss, wandered around the park.’
      • ‘My sergeant fired and the suspect stopped raising his pistol and tossed it to the floor in front of him.’
      • ‘That year Dad had got his promotion to sergeant at the station and the party was a little bigger than usual, which wasn't much but something.’
      • ‘He made his way to the terminal where a dark-haired female sergeant worked the station.’
      • ‘I might have continued had not the sergeant in charge flung open the door.’
      • ‘The mother was visibly relieved when the sergeant told her it wasn't serious.’
      • ‘So I was locked in with my cousin in jail until the sergeant on duty released us.’


Middle English from Old French sergent, from Latin servient- ‘serving’, from the verb servire. Early use was as a general term meaning ‘attendant, servant’ and ‘common soldier’; the term was later applied to specific official roles.