lieutenant

noun lieu·ten·ant \ lü-ˈte-nənt , British le(f)- \

Definition of lieutenant

1 a :an official empowered to act for a higher official
  • The king's lieutenant handled the problem.
b :an aide or representative of another in the performance of duty :assistant
  • Her best lieutenant was working on the proposal.
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

Recent Examples of lieutenant from the Web

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

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


LIEUTENANT Defined for English Language Learners

lieutenant

noun

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

noun lieu·ten·ant \ lü-ˈte-nənt \

Definition of lieutenant for Students

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

pleasing or sweet sound

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Forms of Government Quiz

  • knupfer-painting-solon-before-croesus
  • A gerontocracy is rule by:
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!