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admiral

[ad-mer-uh l] /ˈæd mər əl/
noun
1.
the commander in chief of a fleet.
2.
a naval officer of the highest rank.
3.
a naval officer of a high rank: the grades in the U.S. Navy are fleet admiral, admiral, vice-admiral, and rear admiral.
4.
Obsolete. the flagship of an admiral.
5.
British. a master who directs a fishing fleet.
6.
any of several often brightly colored butterflies of the family Nymphalidae, as Vanessa atalanta (red admiral)
Origin
1175-1225
1175-1225; Middle English, variant of amiral < Old French < Arabic amīr al commander of the; -d- < Medieval Latin admīrābilis mundī for Arabic amīr al-mu'minīn commander of the faithful; or with replacement of a-5 by ad-, as in administer
Related forms
admiralship, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for admiral
  • Surviving crewmen remembered an admiral belittling their awards.
British Dictionary definitions for admiral

admiral

/ˈædmərəl/
noun
1.
the supreme commander of a fleet or navy
2.
Also called admiral of the fleet, fleet admiral. a naval officer of the highest rank, equivalent to general of the army or field marshal
3.
a senior naval officer entitled to fly his own flag See also rear admiral, vice admiral
4.
(mainly Brit) the master of a fishing fleet
5.
any of various nymphalid butterflies, esp the red admiral or white admiral
Derived Forms
admiralship, noun
Word Origin
C13: amyral, from Old French amiral emir, and from Medieval Latin admīrālis (the spelling with d probably influenced by admīrābilis admirable); both from Arabic amīr emir, commander, esp in the phrase amīr-al commander of, as in amīr-al-bahr commander of the sea
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
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Word Origin and History for admiral
n.

c.1200, "Saracen commander," from Old French amirail (12c.) "Saracen military commander; any military commander," probably ultimately from Arabic title amir-ar-rahl "chief of the transport," officer in the Mediterranean fleet, from amir "leader;" influenced by Latin ad-mirabilis (see admire).

Italian form almiraglio, Spanish almirante are from confusion with Arabic words in al-. Meaning "highest-ranking naval officer" is from early 15c. As a type of butterfly, from 1720, possibly a corruption of admirable.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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10
12
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