[mid-ship-muhn, mid-ship-]
noun, plural midshipmen.
a student, as at the U.S. Naval Academy, in training for commission as ensign in the Navy or second lieutenant in the Marine Corps. Compare cadet ( def 2 ).
British Navy.
an officer of the rank held by young men immediately upon graduating from the government naval schools.
(initial capital letter) the title and rank of such a graduate.
(formerly) one of a class of boys or young men who formed the group from which officers were chosen.
Also called singingfish. any toadfish of the genus Porichthys, having many small luminous organs on the underside and producing a buzzing sound with its air bladder.

1620–30; midship + -man

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World English Dictionary
midshipman (ˈmɪdˌʃɪpmən)
n , pl -men
1.  a probationary rank held by young naval officers under training, or an officer holding such a rank
2.  any of several American toadfishes of the genus Porichthys, having small light-producing organs on the undersurface of their bodies

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

c.1600, so called because he was stationed amidships when on duty.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
The nest of an intertidal fish, called a midshipman, was found in a cavity under a rock.
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