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
3a : an infantry officer of what was formerly the lowest commissioned rankb : 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
that ensign of tutorial authority, the hickory stick
fittingly, the organization promoting the welfare of marine life features a dolphin on its ensign
Recent Examples of ensign from the Web
About 30 miles north, a Coast Guard ensign named Phillip McNamara stood his first-ever shift as duty officer.
His tone remained smooth, his high notes steady, even at the end of the second act, an exhausting, long confrontation as Otello is persuaded of the infidelity of his wife, Desdemona — imaginary, of course — by his malignant ensign, Iago.
About how Herbert Evan Duquette, then an ensign in the U.S. Navy, was part of the D-Day storming of Normandy on June 6, 1944.
The Class of 2017 includes 768 midshipmen who were commissioned as Navy ensigns and 259 as Marine second lieutenants.
Michael Williams was introduced to Andrew Cunanan though their mutual friend, a young ensign named Jeff Trail.
After the battle, Beauregard lobbied for a more distinctive Confederate ensign to avoid further battlefield confusion.
The U.S. Naval Academy is a four-year undergraduate college where students who graduate with a bachelor's of science degree commission as ensigns in the Navy or second lieutenants in the Marine Corps, according to the academy's website.
The photo was a black-and-white portrait of England in his Navy ensign’s uniform.
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
First Known Use: 15th centurySee Words from the same year
ENSIGN Defined for English Language Learners
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
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
Seen and Heard
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