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lance corporal

U.S. Marine Corps. an enlisted person ranking between private first class and corporal.
British Military.
  1. a corporal of the lowest rank.
  2. (formerly) a private acting as corporal without increased pay.
Origin of lance corporal
1780-90; lance, shortened form of earlier lancepesade < Middle French lancepessade lowest ranking grade of noncommissioned officer < Italian lancia spezzata superior soldier, literally, broken lance1 (from having shivered many lances, i.e., fought well in many battles) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for lance-corporal
Historical Examples
  • He came up to lance-corporal Newman, who was bombing with his sector to the right of the position.

    Now It Can Be Told Philip Gibbs
  • In October, 1858, I was promoted to the rank of lance-corporal.

    A Soldier's Life Edwin G. Rundle
  • Here a lance-corporal was responsible for capturing two machine-guns and twenty-eight prisoners.

  • I remember a lance-corporal who, so far as he knew, was the only Christian in his regiment.

    With our Fighting Men William E. Sellers
  • And as he looked at the mincing Dialin he pictured the lance-corporal helping to serve a gun.

    The Pretty Lady Arnold E. Bennett
  • So I wait in the respectful silence a lance-corporal owes to his superior officer.

    My Austrian Love Maxime Provost
  • lance-corporal Livesey encouragingly observed to me while they were whistling round us.

    At Ypres with Best-Dunkley Thomas Hope Floyd
  • The footman inclined and obeyed, and the lance-corporal superiorly helped him.

    The Pretty Lady Arnold E. Bennett
  • In January 1915, near Richebourg, I was one of a ration-party being led back to the front line by a lance-corporal.

  • He sent off the lance-corporal, who usually acted as clerk, and turned to the sergeant-major.

    Life in a German Crack Regiment Wolf Ernst Hugo Emil Baudissin
British Dictionary definitions for lance-corporal

lance corporal

a noncommissioned officer of the lowest rank in the British Army
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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