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[mid-ship-muh n, mid-ship-] /ˈmɪdˌʃɪp mən, mɪdˈʃɪp-/
noun, plural midshipmen.
a student, as at the U.S. Naval Academy, in training for commission as ensign in the Navy or second lieutenant in the Marine Corps.
Compare cadet (def 2).
British Navy.
  1. an officer of the rank held by young men immediately upon graduating from the government naval schools.
  2. (initial capital letter) the title and rank of such a graduate.
  3. (formerly) one of a class of boys or young men who formed the group from which officers were chosen.
Also called singingfish. any toadfish of the genus Porichthys, having many small luminous organs on the underside and producing a buzzing sound with its air bladder.
Origin of midshipman
First recorded in 1620-30; midship + -man Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for midshipman


noun (pl) -men
a probationary rank held by young naval officers under training, or an officer holding such a rank
any of several American toadfishes of the genus Porichthys, having small light-producing organs on the undersurface of their bodies
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for midshipman

c.1600, so called because he was stationed amidships when on duty (see amid).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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