n. pl. sergeants major or sergeant majors
a. Used as a title for a noncommissioned officer serving as chief administrative assistant of a headquarters unit of the US Army or Marine Corps.
b. One who holds this title.
2. Chiefly British A noncommissioned or warrant officer of the highest rank in a company or unit of battalion size.
3. A damselfish (Abudefduf saxatilis) of warm seas, having a flattened body with dark vertical stripes.
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.