dra·goon (drə-gn, dră-)
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 ©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.