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.
  3. 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.
  4. a person appointed or elected to some position of responsibility or authority in the government, a corporation, a society, etc.
  5. (in some honorary orders) a member of any rank except the lowest.
  6. Obsolete. an agent.

verb (used with object)

  1. to furnish with officers.
  2. to command or direct as an officer does.
  3. to direct, conduct, or manage.


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

verb (tr)

  1. to furnish with officers
  2. to act as an officer over (some section, group, organization, etc)

n.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.

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