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dra·goon (drə-gn, dră-)
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n.
A member of a European military unit trained and armed to fight mounted or on foot.
tr.v. dra·gooned, dra·goon·ing, dra·goons
1. To subjugate or persecute by the imposition of troops.
2. To compel by violent measures or threats; coerce.

[French dragon, from Middle French dragon, mounted infantry soldier armed with a harquebus, from dragon, dragon (such infantry perhaps being so called because an early unit used a dragon as its standard, or because such infantry were thought to “breathe fire”), from Old French; see DRAGON.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

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