[ en-sahyn; Military en-suhn ]
/ ˈɛn saɪn; Military ˈɛn sən /


a flag or banner, as a military or naval standard used to indicate nationality.
a badge of office or authority, as heraldic arms.
a sign, token, or emblem: the dove, an ensign of peace.
U.S. Navy and Coast Guard. the lowest commissioned officer, ranking next below a lieutenant, junior grade, and equal to a second lieutenant in the Army.

Origin of ensign

1325–75; Middle English ensigne < Old French enseigne < Latin insignia; see insignia

Related forms

en·sign·ship, en·sign·cy, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for ensign

British Dictionary definitions for ensign


/ (ˈɛnsaɪn) /


Derived Forms

ensignship or ensigncy, noun

Word Origin for ensign

C14: from Old French enseigne, from Latin insignia
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