Attested in English since 1545, from French troupe (back-formation of troupeau, diminutive of Medieval Latin troppus "flock") and Middle French trouppe (from Old French trope ‎(band, company, troop)), both of Germanic origin from Frankish *thorp ‎(assembly, gathering), from Proto-Germanic *þurpą ‎(village, land, estate), from Proto-Germanic *treb- ‎(dwelling, settlement). Akin to Old English þorp, þrop ‎(village, farm, estate) (Modern English thorp), Old Frisian þorp, Old Norse þorp. More at thorp.



troop ‎(plural troops)

  1. A collection of people; a company; a number; a multitude.
    • Shakespeare
      That which should accompany old age — / As honour, love, obedience, troops of friends — / I must not look to have.
  2. (military) A small unit of cavalry or armour commanded by a captain, corresponding to a platoon or company of infantry.
  3. A detachment of soldiers or police, especially horse artillery, armour, or state troopers.
  4. Soldiers, military forces (usually "troops").
    • Shakespeare
      Farewell the plumed troop, and the big wars.
    • Macaulay
      His troops moved to victory with the precision of machines.
  5. (nonstandard) A company of stageplayers; a troupe.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of W. Coxe to this entry?)
  6. (Scouting) A basic unit of girl or boy scouts, consisting of 6 to 10 youngsters.
  7. A group of baboons.
  8. A particular roll of the drum; a quick march.
  9. (mycology) Mushrooms that are in a close group but not close enough to be called a cluster.

Derived termsEdit



troop ‎(third-person singular simple present troops, present participle trooping, simple past and past participle trooped)

  1. To move in numbers; to come or gather in crowds or troops.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 5, The Mirror and the Lamp:
      Then everybody once more knelt, and soon the blessing was pronounced. The choir and the clergy trooped out slowly, […], down the nave to the western door. […] At a seemingly immense distance the surpliced group stopped to say the last prayer.
  2. To march on; to go forward in haste.
  3. To move or march as if in a crowd.
    The children trooped into the room.

Derived termsEdit



  • “troop” in the Canadian Oxford Dictionary, Second Edition, Oxford University Press, 2004.
  • troop” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary (2001).

See alsoEdit




troop f ‎(plural tropen, diminutive troopje n)

  1. (music, literature, linguistics) trope
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