ensign

noun en·sign \ ˈen(t)-sən also ˈen-ˌsīn for senses 1, 2, & 3a \

Definition of ensign

1 : a flag that is flown (as by a ship) as the symbol of nationality and that may also be flown with a distinctive badge added to its design
2 a : a badge of office, rank, or power
b : emblem, sign
3 a : an infantry officer of what was formerly the lowest commissioned rank
b : a commissioned officer in the navy or coast guard ranking above a chief warrant officer and below a lieutenant junior grade

Examples of ensign in a Sentence

  1. that ensign of tutorial authority, the hickory stick

  2. fittingly, the organization promoting the welfare of marine life features a dolphin on its ensign

Recent Examples of ensign from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ensign.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of ensign

Middle English ensigne, sign, token, banner, from Anglo-French enseigne, from Latin insignia insignia, flags


ENSIGN Defined for English Language Learners

ensign

noun

Definition of ensign for English Language Learners

  • : an officer of the lowest rank in the U.S. Navy

  • : a flag that is flown on a ship to show what country the ship belongs to


ENSIGN Defined for Kids

ensign

noun en·sign \ ˈen-sən , 1 is also -ˌsīn \

Definition of ensign for Students

1 : a flag flown as the symbol of nationality
2 : a commissioned officer of the lowest rank in the navy or coast guard


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