Definition of yeoman in English:

yeoman

Line breaks: yeo¦man
Pronunciation: /ˈjəʊmən
 
/

noun (plural yeomen)

1 historical A man holding and cultivating a small landed estate; a freeholder.
More example sentences
  • A market revolution occurred as a yeoman and cash crop agriculture and capitalist manufacturing replaced artisan economy.
  • Around 1700 they had less wealth than yeomen in each region, but by 1810 they owned as much personal estate as yeomen and were approaching the wealth of farmers.
  • For the agricultural writer Arthur Young, yeomen were only freeholders who were not gentry, and the same definition was used by witnesses before the 1833 Select Committee on Agriculture.
1.1A person qualified for certain duties and rights, such as to serve on juries and vote for the knight of the shire, by virtue of possessing free land of an annual value of 40 shillings.
More example sentences
  • The hoplite's presence on the battlefield was a reflection of his own free status in the polis community and thus reinforced his privileged position as a free yeoman farmer and voting citizen.
  • These folks here at the sheriff's office have done a yeoman's job for the citizens of this county.
  • As rumours of the impending rising grew stronger the Government ordered John Derenzy to form a party of yeomen in the area.
2 historical A servant in a royal or noble household, ranking between a sergeant and a groom or a squire and a page.
More example sentences
  • One contemporary account notes that before her visit to Croydon in April and May 1585 a gentleman usher called Francis Coot and nine yeomen and grooms spent eight days making ready for her Majesty the Bishop's house.
  • Popular printed portraits of Elizabeth may have been more expensive but they would have been in reach of yeomen, artisans, clerks and many others who lived above a subsistance income.
  • In the 17th century it developed into a general term for the lord of the manor, well below the level of nobility, but far above yeomen.
3 historical A member of the yeomanry force.
More example sentences
  • Many stories told about O'Keefe recount his daring and athletic escapes from pursuing yeomen and soldiers.
  • The suffering caused is remembered in the many stories about women fleeing their homes and taking refuge for fear of soldier and yeoman repression.
4 (also yeoman of signals) (In the Royal and other Commonwealth navies) a petty officer concerned with signalling.
More example sentences
  • A signalling (tactical communications) petty officer in the British Royal Navy (known as a 'Yeoman of Signals').
4.1A petty officer in the US navy performing clerical duties on board ship.
More example sentences
  • For cold weather wear there was a navy blue cape. The normal Yeoman's rating badge was worn on the jacket's left sleeve.
  • US Navy yeoman Jack Adams witnessed the war in the Pacific.
  • As a young Yeoman Petty Officer, Hal was assigned to the U.S.S. COLORADO.

Origin

Middle English: probably from young + man.

Phrases

yeoman service

Efficient or useful help in need: the minister has performed yeoman service for Mulroney
More example sentences
  • Percy Brown has done yeoman service in painstakingly documenting the architecture of India in his book Indian Architecture: Islamic Period.
  • Of all the uniformed services, it is the Scouts and Guides Movement, which seems to have been relegated to the background, though it has rendered a yeoman service to society.
  • Several organisations and non-governmental organisations are doing yeoman service to society by promoting activities that bring out the faculties among the people, be it in sports or music.

Derivatives

yeomanly

adjective
More example sentences
  • A yeomanly tear was pricking at the corner of my eye as I stepped out across a small junction and was nearly mown down by a scooter.
  • When Miller had offered his biography in the wake of Winslow's, he had simply shrugged off his competitor's contribution as a yeomanly effort - solid, thorough, reliable, and entirely beside the point.
  • Café Rabelais is a likable, yeomanly restaurant that stays true to its mission and keeps trying to improve.

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