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 Devin Brosnan, the other officer at the shooting, faces an aggravated assault charge for allegedly standing on Brooks after the shooting in a parking lot. Hollie Silverman, CNN, "About 170 Atlanta officers called out sick after cops were charged in Rayshard Brooks' death," 27 June 2020 Patrick Davis, chief operating officer for D.C. Public Schools, said in a February interview that the school system was working with SAM to hire more Spanish-speaking security guards for the upcoming academic year. Perry Stein, Washington Post, "D.C. may give schools more control over security, but major changes appear unlikely," 26 June 2020 Among the nominations sent to the floor for confirmation were Lt. Gen. Daniel Hokanson, to be chief of the National Guard Bureau, and Gen. Gustave Perna, to be chief operating officer, Project Warp Speed. Jamie Mcintyre, Washington Examiner, "Polish leader leaves with no new commitment of US troops as Pentagon shifts focus away from Europe and toward countering China," 25 June 2020 Ralph Lauren plans to hold over a portion of its spring inventory and sell it next year, Jane Nielsen, CFO and chief operating officer, said at a June 17 investor conference. Kristin Broughton, WSJ, "Clothing Companies Want to Hold On to Unsold Inventory," 24 June 2020 What’s more, those wearing antimicrobial masks may feel more protection, despite little evidence, said Iahn Gonsenhauser, the chief quality and patient safety officer at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Hanna Horvath, NBC News, "Best antimicrobial face masks, according to medical experts," 23 June 2020 Jim Farley, chief operating officer, told investors June 10 that Ford plans to go head-to-head with Jeep in the off-road segment. Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press, "Ford moves Bronco reveal to July 13 over O.J. Simpson birthday controversy," 19 June 2020 Trail construction at Brighton Park will begin in August and will be completed by the fall, said Sean McDermott, chief planning and design officer at Metroparks. Steven Litt, cleveland, "Cleveland Metroparks approves plan to turn Old Brooklyn landfill into 26-acre park with Towpath link," 18 June 2020 Lecia Brooks, chief workplace transformation officer at the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), attributes that shift to a major change in public opinion, similar to that seen with Black Lives Matter. Noah Robertson, The Christian Science Monitor, "Can Richmond imagine a future without Robert E. Lee?," 17 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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 Morales lived at the home with her mother, but police have not explicitly said whether that is who officers found. Zach Murdock,, "Police issue Amber Alert for missing 1-year-old girl after discovering a woman dead at an Ansonia home," 4 Dec. 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

30 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Officer.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Jul. 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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