a. An attendant, servant, or lesser official in a royal or noble household.
b. A yeoman of the guard.
2. A petty officer performing chiefly clerical duties in the US Navy.
3. An assistant or other subordinate, as of a sheriff.
4. A diligent, dependable worker.
5. A farmer who cultivates his own land, especially a member of a former class of small freeholders in England.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.