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cadre

A cadre is a group of specially trained people prepared to lead or instruct others. Examples could be a military unit, a group of scientists, or a band of insurgents.

Just looking at the "re" at the end of cadre suggests the word has some French roots, and so it does. The word, stemming from the Latin quadrum, meaning "a square," also meant "framework." This idea of a frame or border came to suggest the word as meaning a small group that creates the framework for a larger one, much like a picture frame. Your cadre of rebels consists of two cats and a stuffed bear . . . at least they'll be good at keeping secrets.

Definitions of cadre
  1. noun
    a nucleus of military personnel capable of expansion
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    type of:
    core, core group, nucleus
    a small group of indispensable persons or things
  2. noun
    a small unit serving as part of or as the nucleus of a larger political movement
    synonyms: cell
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    types:
    show 5 types...
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    sleeper cell
    a cell of sleepers
    radical cell, terrorist cell
    a cell of terrorists (usually 3 to 5 members)
    operational cell
    a terrorist cell that performs clandestine activities
    intelligence cell
    a terrorist cell whose members are trained to perform reconnaissance and surveillance
    auxiliary cell
    a terrorist cell responsible for logistics; usually large and less compartmentalized than other terrorist cells
    type of:
    political entity, political unit
    a unit with political responsibilities
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