of·​fi·​cer | \ ˈä-fə-sər How to pronounce officer (audio) , ˈȯ- \

Definition of officer

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a obsolete : agent
b : one charged with police duties
2 : one who holds an office of trust, authority, or command the officers of the bank chief executive officer
3a : one who holds a position of authority or command in the armed forces specifically : commissioned officer
b : the master or any of the mates of a merchant or passenger ship


officered; officering; officers

Definition of officer (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to furnish with officers
2 : to command or direct as an officer

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Synonyms for officer

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of officer in a Sentence

Noun if you are ever lost, find the nearest officer and ask for help an officer of the court
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Jill Woodworth, age 48, has been Peloton’s chief financial officer for about 2½ years. Nina Trentmann, WSJ, "How Peloton Plans to Keep Growing After the Pandemic Ends," 23 Oct. 2020 Chief financial officer Nicole Wolverton said the district typically has about a 75% collection rate. Carole Carlson,, "Gary schools' budget hinges on referendum cash," 23 Oct. 2020 Huawei remains embroiled in a number of conflicts with the United States and other Western nations, including the detention of Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer and daughter of Huawei’s founder, in Canada since December 2018. Eva Dou, Washington Post, "Huawei’s new smartphone could be its last, as U.S. sanctions clamp down on access to chipsets," 22 Oct. 2020 The historic institution lacks a fiscal agent, which means Eric Koehler, chief financial officer for Independence Local Schools, serves as the conduit for any state monies. cleveland, "Independence Local School District celebrates successful first quarter of in-person learning," 21 Oct. 2020 The world’s largest pork producer, Smithfield Foods Inc., said it’s replacing its chief executive officer as Ken Sullivan is set to retire in early 2021 after a four-decade career in the industry. Michael Hirtzer,, "World’s Top Pork Producer Replaces CEO With Sullivan to Retire," 19 Oct. 2020 Wednesday, Johnson & Johnson's chief financial officer repeated that the company didn't know what the volunteer received. Elizabeth Cohen, CNN, "A week after Covid-19 vaccine trial goes on pause, Johnson & Johnson and FDA won't reveal critical details," 19 Oct. 2020 Jon Pruzan, Morgan Stanley’s chief financial officer, told the Financial Times. John Cassidy, The New Yorker, "The Great Coronavirus Divide: Wall Street Profits Surge as Poverty Rises," 16 Oct. 2020 Terry Dolan, the company's chief financial officer, noted that the bank expects the U.S. unemployment rate to get a little worse in the fourth quarter and will rise to 9.1% due to recent layoffs, before coming back down next year. Kavita Kumar, Star Tribune, "U.S. Bank to close another 400 branches, or 15% of locations, by early next year," 14 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb What happened when Jane Doe came forward to police Jane Doe came forward to Milwaukee police in July 2019 and reported to officer Zachary Thoms that Haywood had drugged and raped her five years earlier and recorded it. Ashley Luthern, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'Absurd and unjust': A woman says Milwaukee police violated her rights as a victim and is suing to have her case investigated elsewhere," 6 Oct. 2020 The county officers on scene were Deputy Sheriff’s Hammond and Lestock of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Uniform Services Division. Paula Wethington, Detroit Free Press, "Human skeletal remains found in Monroe County ditch," 26 May 2020 Police have identified the man who officers shot and killed outside ProHealth Waukesha Memorial Hospital on April 15 as Randy S. Ashland, 58. Elliot Hughes, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Waukesha police identify armed gunman killed outside hospital in officer-involved shooting," 29 Apr. 2020 The incident highlights the challenges that officers face when responding to drag racing in the city with an understaffed police department. Cassandra Jaramillo, Dallas News, "Police cars collide after failed drag racing pursuit in Old East Dallas," 9 Mar. 2020 Darrin Podeschi, 54, La Quinta, Calif. Household: two adults and three students in high school, college and graduate school Profession: chief people officer... Ellen Byron, WSJ, "Battling Covid-19 in the Bedroom, a Father Practices ‘Parenting by Snippets’," 1 Apr. 2020 The 41-year-old Rocky River man, who officers learned had arrests warrants from two other law enforcement agencies, was found in the building and removed. cleveland, "Man threatens UPS store employee: Rocky River Police Blotter," 4 Mar. 2020 The new hire will oversee a team of psychologists in every borough who officers can turn to in a time of need, Monahan said. Aaron Katersky, ABC News, "NYPD creates new approach to prevent officer suicides," 18 Feb. 2020 In a court filing, a police lieutenant said security footage shows a man who officers identified as Pendleton trying to get into the building., "FORT DODGE, Iowa — A central Iowa pastor who also served as a chaplain to area first responders was robbed and beaten to death outside of his church, authorities said.," 4 Oct. 2019

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

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First Known Use of officer


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1648, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for officer


Middle English, "servant, agent, holder of a civil or ecclesiastical post," borrowed from Anglo-French, borrowed from Medieval Latin officiārius, from Latin officium "duty, office" + -ārius -er entry 2


derivative of officer entry 1

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Time Traveler for officer

Time Traveler

The first known use of officer was in the 14th century

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Statistics for officer

Last Updated

28 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Officer.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for officer


How to pronounce officer (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of officer

: a member of a police force
: a person who has an important position in a company, organization, or government
: a person who has a position of authority or command in the military


of·​fi·​cer | \ ˈȯ-fə-sər How to pronounce officer (audio) \

Kids Definition of officer

1 : a person given the responsibility of enforcing the law a police officer
2 : a person who holds a position of authority an officer of the company
3 : a person who holds a commission in the military His father is an officer in the navy.



Legal Definition of officer

1 : one charged with administering or enforcing the law a police officer
2 : one who holds an office of trust, authority, or command the directors, officers, employees, and shareholders of a corporation
3 : one who holds a position of authority or command in the armed forces

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