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officer

[aw-fuh-ser, of-uh-] /ˈɔ fə sər, ˈɒf ə-/
noun
1.
a person who holds a position of rank or authority in the army, navy, air force, or any similar organization, especially one who holds a commission.
2.
a member of a police department or a constable.
3.
a person licensed to take full or partial responsibility for the operation of a merchant ship or other large civilian ship; a master or mate.
4.
a person appointed or elected to some position of responsibility or authority in the government, a corporation, a society, etc.
5.
(in some honorary orders) a member of any rank except the lowest.
6.
Obsolete. an agent.
verb (used with object)
7.
to furnish with officers.
8.
to command or direct as an officer does.
9.
to direct, conduct, or manage.
Origin of officer
1275-1325
1275-1325; Middle English < Anglo-French; Middle French officier < Medieval Latin officiārius, equivalent to Latin offici(um) office + -ārius -ary; see -er2, -ier2
Related forms
officerial
[aw-fuh-seer-ee-uh l, of-uh-] /ˌɔ fəˈsɪər i əl, ˌɒf ə-/ (Show IPA),
adjective
officerless, adjective
officership, officerhood, noun
subofficer, noun
underofficer, noun
unofficered, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for officer
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Afterwards the officer's horse fell with him so that he bruised his head on a stone.

    Beasts, Men and Gods Ferdinand Ossendowski
  • He saw a blue uniform as the officer clambered up to the deck.

    A Prisoner of Morro Upton Sinclair
  • “Two of you in the bow, there, get ready to haul him in,” said the officer.

    The Madman and the Pirate R.M. Ballantyne
  • His companions, including the officer, were stretched out upon it.

    A Prisoner of Morro Upton Sinclair
  • For answer Thad drew forth the packet, and held it out to the officer.

British Dictionary definitions for officer

officer

/ˈɒfɪsə/
noun
1.
a person in the armed services who holds a position of responsibility, authority, and duty, esp one who holds a commission
3.
(on a non-naval ship) any person including the captain and mate, who holds a position of authority and responsibility: radio officer, engineer officer
4.
a person appointed or elected to a position of responsibility or authority in a government, society, etc
5.
a government official: a customs officer
6.
(in the Order of the British Empire) a member of the grade below commander
verb (transitive)
7.
to furnish with officers
8.
to act as an officer over (some section, group, organization, etc)
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 officer
n.

early 14c., "one who holds an office" (originally a high office), from Old French oficier "officer, official" (early 14c.), from Medieval Latin officarius "an officer," from Latin officium "a service, a duty" (see office). The military sense is first recorded 1560s. Applied to petty officials of justice from 16c.; U.S. use in reference to policemen is from 1880s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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