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 Marcus Plescia, chief medical officer at the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, said other states are not rushing to follow California's lead and are taking their time with a potentially explosive issue., 13 Oct. 2021 Cases in Alaska recently have been leveling off, the state’s chief medical officer, Dr. Anne Zink, said Wednesday during a public call. Morgan Krakow, Anchorage Daily News, 13 Oct. 2021 In 2009, Tahir was appointed chief medical officer for the Sisters of Charity Health System and St. Vincent Charity Medical Center. Julie Washington, cleveland, 13 Oct. 2021 The plane was owned by Sugata Das, a cardiologist in Yuma, according to Bharat Magu, chief medical officer of the Yuma Regional Medical Center. Washington Post, 12 Oct. 2021 The plane was owned by a cardiologist with the Yuma Regional Medical Center, according to the hospital’s chief medical officer. Karen Kucher, San Diego Union-Tribune, 12 Oct. 2021 The other death was identified as Dr. Sugata Das, who worked at Yuma Regional Medical Center in Arizona, the hospital’s chief medical officer said. Steven Hernandez, The Arizona Republic, 12 Oct. 2021 The crash also killed Dr. Sugata Das, who worked at Yuma Regional Medical Center in Arizona, the hospital's chief medical officer said. Julie Watson, ajc, 12 Oct. 2021 Big Bend Regional Medical Center serves approximately 25,000 residents in a vast 12,000 square mile area, Dr. Adrian Billing, chief medical officer at the hospital, said. Gina Sunseri, ABC News, 12 Oct. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The Southern Methodist University Police Department has given a meritorious conduct award to officer Shara Watson who assisted a man who had been struck by a vehicle on Central Expressway in Richardson. Teri Webster, Dallas News, 28 June 2021 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 18 Feb. 2020

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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Dictionary Entries Near officer

office premium


officer at arms

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Statistics for officer

Last Updated

17 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Officer.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for officer



English Language Learners Definition of officer

: a member of a police force : police officer
: 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

More from Merriam-Webster on officer

Nglish: Translation of officer for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of officer for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about officer


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