[loo-ten-uhnt; in British use, except in the navy, lef-ten-uhnt]
U.S. Navy. a commissioned officer ranking between lieutenant junior grade and lieutenant commander.
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.

1325–75; Middle English < Middle French, noun use of adj. phrase lieu tenant place-holding. See locum tenens, lieu, tenant

underlieutenant, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
lieutenant (lɛfˈtɛnənt, US luːˈtɛnənt)
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
[C14: from Old French, literally: place-holding]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

late 14c., "one who takes the place of another," from O.Fr. lieu tenant "substitute," lit. "placeholder," from lieu "place" + tenant, prp. of tenir "to hold." 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 it is mysterious.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Bible Dictionary

Lieutenant definition

(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 Britannica


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.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
The reply came immediately in the form of an army lieutenant and three soldiers.
Trim and dark-eyed, the lieutenant colonel knows his tech.
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.
Images for lieutenant
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