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lance corporal

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noun
  1. U.S. Marine Corps. an enlisted person ranking between private first class and corporal.
  2. British Military.
    1. a corporal of the lowest rank.
    2. (formerly) a private acting as corporal without increased pay.
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Origin of lance corporal

1780–90; lance, shortened form of earlier lancepesade < Middle French lancepessade lowest ranking grade of noncommissioned officer < Italian lancia spezzata superior soldier, literally, broken lance1 (from having shivered many lances, i.e., fought well in many battles)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for lance corporal

Historical Examples

  • I was told that it had pleased my superiors to promote me to the rank of a lance-corporal.

    Adventures and Recollections

    Bill o'th' Hoylus End

  • In October, 1858, I was promoted to the rank of lance-corporal.

    A Soldier's Life

    Edwin G. Rundle

  • I remember a lance-corporal who, so far as he knew, was the only Christian in his regiment.

    With our Fighting Men

    William E. Sellers

  • They found the lance-corporal, riddled with bullets, not far from where he had left me.

    The Black Watch

    Scout Joe Cassells

  • A lance-corporal, with his arm off, was also sent back, after thinking he was going to be exchanged.

    Wounded and a Prisoner of War

    Malcolm V. (Malcolm Vivian) Hay


British Dictionary definitions for lance corporal

lance corporal

noun
  1. a noncommissioned officer of the lowest rank in the British Army
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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