- to set dragoons or soldiers upon; persecute by armed force; oppress.
- to force by oppressive measures; coerce
1622, from Fr. dragon "carbine, musket,"because the guns the soldiers carried"breathed fire" like a dragon. The verb isfrom 1689, lit. "to force by the agency ofdragoons" (which were used by the Fr.kings to persecute Protestants). (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/dragoon)
"Now, with the official Maderista affiliation broken, whoever emerged as chief in charge would have to so so the hard way—by convincing his peers he deserves their backing.
"This was a feat neither political ambition nor military ferocity could accomplish. The machinery to dragoon local followers did not exist. If a village resented a self-appointed chief, it simply kept its men home."
- John Womack, Zapata and the Mexican Revolution