[ aw-fuh-ser, of-uh- ]
See synonyms for officer on
  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.

  1. 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.

  2. a person appointed or elected to some position of responsibility or authority in the government, a corporation, a society, etc.

  3. (in some honorary orders) a member of any rank except the lowest.

  4. Obsolete. an agent.

verb (used with object)
  1. to furnish with officers.

  2. to command or direct as an officer does.

  1. to direct, conduct, or manage.

Origin of officer

1275–1325; Middle English <Anglo-French; Middle French officier<Medieval Latin officiārius, equivalent to Latin offici(um) office + -ārius-ary; see -er2, -ier2

Other words from officer

  • of·fi·ce·ri·al [aw-fuh-seer-ee-uhl, of-uh-], /ˌɔ fəˈsɪər i əl, ˌɒf ə-/, adjective
  • of·fi·cer·less, adjective
  • of·fi·cer·ship, of·fi·cer·hood, noun
  • sub·of·fi·cer, noun
  • un·der·of·fi·cer, noun
  • un·of·fi·cered, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use officer in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for officer


/ (ˈɒfɪsə) /

  1. a person in the armed services who holds a position of responsibility, authority, and duty, esp one who holds a commission

  1. (on a non-naval ship) any person including the captain and mate, who holds a position of authority and responsibility: radio officer; engineer officer

  2. a person appointed or elected to a position of responsibility or authority in a government, society, etc

  3. a government official: a customs officer

  4. (in the Order of the British Empire) a member of the grade below commander

  1. to furnish with officers

  2. 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