petty officer



a noncommissioned U.S. Navy rank with three grades.
one of the minor officers on a merchant ship, as a boatswain or carpenter.

Origin of petty officer

First recorded in 1570–80 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for petty officer

  • "I wish to see Commander Hythe," he announced to the petty-officer messenger on duty at the Admiralty.

    The Dreadnought of the Air|Percy F. Westerman
  • The rasp of a petty-officer singing out the numbers mingled with the hiss and gurgle of the spray.

    The Syndic|C.M. Kornbluth
  • It was Bates, the petty-officer, who was the first to relate their hazardous adventures.

    The Dreadnought of the Air|Percy F. Westerman
  • The third man turned to give the alarm, but a petty-officer sprang after him and dragged him back by his shirt-collar.

British Dictionary definitions for petty officer

petty officer


a noncommissioned officer in a naval service, comparable in rank to a sergeant in an army or marine corps

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