[aw-fuh-ser, of-uh-]


verb (used with object)

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
Related formsof·fi·ce·ri·al [aw-fuh-seer-ee-uh l, of-uh-] /ˌɔ fəˈsɪər i əl, ˌɒf ə-/, adjectiveof·fi·cer·less, adjectiveof·fi·cer·ship, of·fi·cer·hood, nounsub·of·fi·cer, nounun·der·of·fi·cer, nounun·of·fi·cered, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for subofficer

Historical Examples of subofficer

British Dictionary definitions for subofficer



a subordinate officer



a person in the armed services who holds a position of responsibility, authority, and duty, esp one who holds a commission
(on a non-naval ship) any person including the captain and mate, who holds a position of authority and responsibilityradio officer; engineer officer
a person appointed or elected to a position of responsibility or authority in a government, society, etc
a government officiala customs officer
(in the Order of the British Empire) a member of the grade below commander

verb (tr)

to furnish with officers
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

Word Origin and History for subofficer



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