What does yeoman mean?

Definitions for yeoman
ˈyoʊ mənyeo·man

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word yeoman.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. yeoman, yeoman of the guard, beefeaternoun

    officer in the (ceremonial) bodyguard of the British monarch

  2. yeomannoun

    in former times was free and cultivated his own land


  1. yeomannoun

    An official providing honorable service in a royal or high noble household, ranking between a squire and a page.

  2. yeomannoun

    A former class of small freeholders who farm their own land; a commoner of good standing.

  3. yeomannoun

    A subordinate, deputy, aide, or assistant.

  4. yeomannoun

    A Yeoman Warder.

  5. yeomannoun

    A clerk in the US navy, and US Coast Guard.

  6. yeomannoun

    In a vessel of war, the person in charge of the storeroom.

  7. yeomannoun

    A member of the Yeomanry Cavalry officially chartered in 1794 originating around the 1760s.

  8. yeomannoun

    A member of the Imperial Yeomanry officially created in 1890s and renamed in 1907.

  9. Etymology: yoman, yeman, from (compare Old Frisian gāman ‘villager’, Middle Dutch goymann ‘arbiter’), compound of ge, gea ‘district, region’ (in ælge, Suthrigea), from gawi (compare West Frisian gea, goa, Dutch gouw, German Gau), and mann ‘man’.\ More at man.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. YEOMANnoun

    Etymology: Of this word the original is much doubted: the true etymology seems to be that of Junius , who derives it from geman , Frisick, a villager.

    Gentlemen should use their children as the honest farmers and substantial yeomen do theirs. John Locke.

    He that has a spaniel by his side is a yeoman of about one hundred pounds a year, an honest man: he is just qualified to kill an hare. Addison.

    Tall yeomen seemed they, and of great might,
    And were enranged ready still for fight. Fairy Queen.

    You, good yeomen,
    Whose limbs were made in England, shew us here
    The mettle of your pasture. William Shakespeare, Henry V.

    He instituted, for the security of his person, a band of fifty archers, under a captain, to attend him, by the name of yeomen of his guard. Francis Bacon, Henry VII.

    Th’ appointment for th’ ensuing night he heard;
    And therefore in the cavern had prepar’d
    Two brawny yeomen of his trusty guard. Dryden.

    At Windsor St. John whispers me i’ th’ ear;
    The waiters stand in ranks, the yeomen cry
    Make way for the dean, as if a duke pass’d by. Jonathan Swift.

    His grandfather was Lyonel duke of Clarence,
    Third son to the third Edward king of England:
    Spring crestless yeomen from so deep a root? William Shakespeare, H. VI.

    A jolly yeoman, marshal of the hall,
    Whose name was appetite, he did bestow
    Both guests and meats. Edmund Spenser.


  1. Yeoman

    Yeoman is a noun originally referring either to one who owns and cultivates land or to the middle ranks of servants in an English royal or noble household. The term was first documented in mid-14th-century England. The 14th century also witnessed the rise of the yeoman longbow archer during the Hundred Years' War, and the yeoman outlaws celebrated in the Robin Hood ballads. Yeomen also joined the English Navy during the Hundred Years' War as seamen and archers. In the early 15th century, yeoman was the rank of chivalry between page and squire. By the late 17th century, yeoman became a rank in the new Royal Navy for the common seamen who were in charge of ship's stores, such as foodstuffs, gunpowder, and sails. References to the emerging social stratum of wealthy land-owning commoners began to appear after 1429. In that year, the Parliament of England re-organized the House of Commons into counties and boroughs, with voting rights granted to all freeholders. The Act of 1430 restricted voting rights to those freeholders whose land value exceeded 40 shillings. These yeomen would eventually become a social stratum of commoners below the landed gentry, but above the husbandmen. This stratum later embodied the political and economic ideas of the English and Scottish enlightenments, and transplanted those ideas to the Thirteen English colonies in North America during the 17th and 18th centuries. The yeoman farmers of those colonies became citizen soldiers during the American Revolution against Great Britain. The 19th century saw a revival of interest in the medieval period with English Romantic literature. The yeoman outlaws of the ballads were refashioned into heroes fighting for justice under the law and the rights of freeborn Englishmen.


  1. yeoman

    A yeoman is traditionally a free man who cultivates his own land, typically a member of a former social class in England below the gentry, often agricultural laborers. In modern usage, it can also refer to a diligent, dependable worker or employee or a petty officer in the U.S. navy or coast guard who performs clerical duties.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Yeomannoun

    a common man, or one of the commonly of the first or most respectable class; a freeholder; a man free born

  2. Yeomannoun

    a servant; a retainer

  3. Yeomannoun

    a yeoman of the guard; also, a member of the yeomanry cavalry

  4. Yeomannoun

    an interior officer under the boatswain, gunner, or carpenters, charged with the stowage, account, and distribution of the stores

  5. Etymology: [OE. yoman, eman, oman; of uncertain origin; perhaps the first, syllable is akin to OFries. g district, region, G. gau, OHG. gewi, gouwi, Goth. gawi. 100.]


  1. Yeoman

    Yeoman refers chiefly to a free man owning his own farm, especially from the Elizabethan era to the 17th century. Work requiring a great deal of effort or labour, such as would be done by a yeoman farmer, came to be described as yeoman's work. Thus yeoman became associated with hard toil. Yeoman was also a rank or position in a noble household, with titles such as Yeoman of the Chamber, Yeoman of the Crown, Yeoman Usher, and King's Yeoman. Most of these, including the Yeomen of the Guard, had the duty of protecting the sovereign and other dignitaries as a bodyguard, and carrying out various duties for the sovereign as assigned to his office. In modern British usage, yeoman may specifically refer to ⁕a member of a reserve military unit called a yeomanry, similar to the militia, traditionally raised from moderately wealthy commoners in England and Wales, and today part of the Territorial Army; ⁕a member of the Yeomen of the Guard ⁕a member of the Yeomen Warders of the Tower of London ⁕a non-commissioned officer usually with the rank of staff sergeant or Warrant Officer Class 1 in the Royal Corps of Signals in the British Army, an appointment achieved upon completion of a 14-month technical course.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Yeoman

    yō′man, n. in early English history, a common menial attendant, but after the fifteenth century, one of a class of small freeholders, forming the next grade below gentlemen: a man of small estate, any small farmer or countryman above the grade of labourer: an officer of the royal household: a member of the yeomanry cavalry: (Shak.) a journeyman, assistant: a gentleman in a royal or noble household, ranking between a sergeant and a groom.—adj. Yeo′manly, of yeoman's rank: humble and honest.—adv. staunchly, bravely.—n. Yeo′manry, the collective body of yeomen or smaller freeholders: a cavalry volunteer force in Great Britain, formed during the wars of the French Revolution, its organisation by counties, under the lords-lieutenant, raised and drilled locally, the men providing their own horses and uniform.—Yeomen of the guard, a veteran company of picked soldiers, employed in conjunction with the gentlemen-at-arms on grand occasions as the sovereign's bodyguard—constituted a corps in 1485 by Henry VII., and still wearing the costume of that period; Yeoman's service, powerful aid, such as came from the yeomen in the English armies of early times. [M. E. yoman, yemen, doubtless from an A.S. gáman, not found, but seen in Old Frisian gāman, villager—, a village (Ger. gau, district), man, man.]

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. yeoman

    An experienced hand placed in charge of a store-room, who should be able to keep the accounts of supply and expenditure.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records


    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Yeoman is ranked #13259 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Yeoman surname appeared 2,302 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 1 would have the surname Yeoman.

    88.1% or 2,029 total occurrences were White.
    5.7% or 132 total occurrences were Black.
    2.8% or 66 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    1.9% or 45 total occurrences were of two or more races.
    0.6% or 15 total occurrences were Asian.
    0.6% or 15 total occurrences were American Indian or Alaskan Native.

Matched Categories

How to pronounce yeoman?

How to say yeoman in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of yeoman in Chaldean Numerology is: 5

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of yeoman in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for yeoman

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"yeoman." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 20 Jul 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/yeoman>.

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    a symptom of reduced quality or strength
    A downsizing
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