ensign

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

Definition of ensign

  1. 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. 2 a :  a badge of office, rank, or power b :  emblem, sign

  3. 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>

Origin and Etymology of ensign

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


First Known Use: 15th century


ENSIGN Defined for English Language Learners

ensign

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

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

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

Definition of ensign for Students

  1. 1 :  a flag flown as the symbol of nationality

  2. 2 :  a commissioned officer of the lowest rank in the navy or coast guard



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