lieutenant

play
noun lieu·ten·ant \-ˈte-nənt\

Definition of lieutenant

  1. 1 a :  an official empowered to act for a higher official b :  an aide or representative of another in the performance of duty :  assistant

  2. 2 a (1) :  first lieutenant (2) :  second lieutenant b :  a commissioned officer in the navy or coast guard ranking above a lieutenant junior grade and below a lieutenant commander c :  a fire or police department officer ranking below a captain

Examples of lieutenant in a sentence

  1. He was promoted to the rank of lieutenant.

  2. She has her best lieutenants working on a proposal.

  3. one of the mobster's most loyal lieutenants

Origin and Etymology of lieutenant

Middle English, from Anglo-French lieu tenant, from liu + tenant holding, from tenir to hold, from Latin tenēre — more at thin


First Known Use: 14th century


LIEUTENANT Defined for English Language Learners

lieutenant

play
noun lieu·ten·ant \-ˈte-nənt\

Definition of lieutenant for English Language Learners

  • : an officer in the army, navy, or air force with a fairly low rank

  • : an officer in a fire or police department who has a rank below a captain

  • : an assistant to another, more powerful person : a person who represents and works for someone else


LIEUTENANT Defined for Kids

lieutenant

play
noun lieu·ten·ant \lü-ˈte-nənt\

Definition of lieutenant for Students

  1. 1 :  an official who acts for a higher official

  2. 2 :  first lieutenant

  3. 3 :  second lieutenant

  4. 4 :  a commissioned officer in the navy or coast guard ranking above a lieutenant junior grade



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up lieutenant? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

skillful, artistic, or intricate

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • hot-dog--hot-dog--hot-dog--hot-dog-cat
  • Which of the following words is not a synonym for ‘a young person’?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ