Definition of officer in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈôfəsər/


1A person holding a position of command or authority in the armed services, in the merchant marine, or on a passenger ship.
Example sentences
  • Anderson later served as a warrant officer and commissioned officer in the Army Reserve.
  • The hardest workers among you may become chief petty officers, warrant officers and commissioned officers.
  • We have more women commissioned officers than the Active Army, even though we're about 60 percent smaller.
official, officeholder, committee member, board member;
public servant, administrator, executive, functionary, bureaucrat
derogatory apparatchik
1.1A policeman or policewoman.
Example sentences
  • The 33-year-old was interviewed by Garda officers at the police station at Dublin Airport.
  • A procedure which left it to individual officers in police stations to perform some sort of balancing exercise would, it was said, be unworkable.
  • In addition to mounted police, motorcyclists and special constables, undercover officers will mingle with crowds.
police officer, policeman, policewoman, officer of the law, law-enforcement officer/agent, peace officer, patrolman, trooper
informal cop, copper, flatfoot
1.2A bailiff.
Example sentences
  • They are interrupted by a knock on the door and Val is horrified to find a bailiff officer on her doorstep.
  • Special bailiffs are officers appointed by the sheriff at the request of a plaintiff for the purpose of executing a particular process.
  • Strictly, this is not evidence, although it is accepted, being the representations of a responsible officer of the court.
2A holder of a public, civil, or ecclesiastical office: a probation officer the chief medical officer
More example sentences
  • During months of bombing, there were no public health officers to issue death certificates, which explains the lack of official statistics.
  • Where a court or a public officer wrongly refuses jurisdiction the exercise of the jurisdiction can be commanded by a writ of mandamus.
  • Government officers should see public property as their own and seek to protect it.
representative, deputy, agent, envoy
2.1A holder of a post in a society, company, or other organization, especially one who is involved at a senior level in its management: a chief executive officer
More example sentences
  • Directors, officers and other senior financial officers set the tone for ethical behavior within any organization.
  • Its August survey of banks' senior loan officers says business loans are increasingly available.
  • Francis becomes chief marketing officer and managing director at the Wayne, Pa., company.
3A member of a certain grade in some honorary orders.
Example sentences
  • It was attended in a body by the officers and members of the Yukon order of Pioneers.
  • The band's guitar player, Jimmy Page, is now an officer of the British empire.
  • An officer of the Order of Canada, he received a distinguished service award from the Canadian Society for Nutritional Sciences in 1990.


[with object]
1Provide with military officers: the aristocracy continued to wield considerable political power, officering the army
More example sentences
  • The Gendarmerie (local constabulary trained and officered by Marines), supported by the Marine brigade, tracked down and killed Peralte and Batraville.
  • It was six months before Andrew got a command, but then of troops purposely ill-equipped, poorly officered and virtually untrained.
  • The British officer corps was still dominated by the ‘gentleman’ and remained essentially a working-class Army officered by the upper classes.
1.1Act as the commander of (a unit): foreign mercenaries were hired to officer new regiments
More example sentences
  • The Streltsy and the Cossacks were professional units but they were officered by foreigners.
  • The division's fighting elements were 8,000 Philippine Scouts, officered by Americans, a US infantry regiment some 2,000 strong, and a regiment of artillery.
  • Thus most of the 380,000 blacks who served in the Army were in labor units officered by whites.


Middle English: via Anglo-Norman French from medieval Latin officiarius, from Latin officium (see office).

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