1. Military. the key group of officers and enlisted personnel necessary to establish and train a new military unit.
  2. a group of trained or otherwise qualified personnel capable of forming, training, or leading an expanded organization, as a religious or political faction, or a skilled work force: They hoped to form a cadre of veteran party members.
  3. (especially in Communist countries) a cell of trained and devoted workers.
  4. a member of a cadre; a person qualified to serve in a cadre.
  5. a framework, outline, or scheme.


  1. the nucleus of trained professional servicemen forming the basis for the training of new units or other military expansion
  2. a basic unit or structure, esp of specialists or experts; nucleus; core
  3. a group of revolutionaries or other political activists, esp when taking part in military or terrorist activities
  4. a member of a cadre

1830, from French cadre, literally “a frame of a picture” (16c.), so, “a detachment forming the skeleton of a regiment” (1851), from Italian quadro, from Latin quadrum “a square” (see quadrille). The communist sense is from 1930.

An elite or select group that forms the core of an organization and is capable of training new members.

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