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lieutenant

[loo-ten-uh nt; in British use, except in the navy, lef-ten-uh nt] /luˈtɛn ənt; in British use, except in the navy, lɛfˈtɛn ənt/
noun
2.
U.S. Navy. a commissioned officer ranking between lieutenant junior grade and lieutenant commander.
3.
a person who holds an office, civil or military, in subordination to a superior for whom he or she acts:
If he can't attend, he will send his lieutenant.
Origin
1325-1375
1325-75; Middle English < Middle French, noun use of adj. phrase lieu tenant place-holding. See locum tenens, lieu, tenant
Related forms
underlieutenant, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for lieutenant
  • The reply came immediately in the form of an army lieutenant and three soldiers.
  • Trim and dark-eyed, the lieutenant colonel knows his tech.
  • Among the wounded officers in the ambulances were one, a lieutenant of regulars, and another of higher rank.
  • The police lieutenant has had a tree called after him.
  • It was later revealed that a captain and a lieutenant had planted the explosives, which detonated by mistake.
  • Immaculate in his pressed ceremonial dress, he looked every inch a second lieutenant.
  • The legislature, which meets only every other year, takes its cues from the independently elected lieutenant governor.
  • The lieutenant commanding a tank platoon has served as a tank driver, loader, gunner and tank commander.
  • In the end, the lieutenant is able to identify and capture the priest.
  • The lieutenant is thus convinced that he has cleared the province of priests.
British Dictionary definitions for lieutenant

lieutenant

/lɛfˈtɛnənt; US luːˈtɛnənt/
noun
1.
a military officer holding commissioned rank immediately junior to a captain
2.
a naval officer holding commissioned rank immediately junior to a lieutenant commander
3.
(US) an officer in a police or fire department ranking immediately junior to a captain
4.
a person who holds an office in subordination to or in place of a superior
Derived Forms
lieutenancy, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French, literally: place-holding
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 lieutenant
n.

late 14c., "one who takes the place of another," from Old French lieu tenant "substitute, deputy," literally "placeholder," from lieu "place" (see lieu) + tenant, present participle of tenir "to hold" (see tenant). The notion is of a "substitute" for higher authority. Specific military sense of "officer next in rank to a captain" is from 1570s. Pronunciation with lef- is common in Britain, and spellings to reflect it date back to 14c., but the origin of this is a mystery (OED rejects suggestion that it comes from old confusion of -u- and -v-).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for lieutenant

lieutenant

Related Terms

third lieutenant


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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lieutenant in the Bible

(only in A.V. Esther 3:12; 8:9; 9:3; Ezra 8:36), a governor or viceroy of a Persian province having both military and civil power. Correctly rendered in the Revised Version "satrap."

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Encyclopedia Article for lieutenant

company grade officer, the lowest rank of commissioned officer in most armies of the world. The lieutenant normally commands a small tactical unit such as a platoon.

Learn more about lieutenant with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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10
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