private first class


: an enlisted man ranking in the army above a private and below a corporal and in the marine corps above a private and below a lance corporal

Examples of private first class in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Tate attained the rank of private first class before he was discharged. Christina Coulter, Fox News, 22 Aug. 2023 Guillen, who was promoted from private first class to specialist on Wednesday due to her time in service, was allegedly attacked with a hammer and dismembered with a machete. Fox News, 3 July 2020 The sourness that was a first lieutenant on Monday had been demoted to private first class on Tuesday — and confined to barracks by those two-star peppers, so impressed with their power. Tim Carman, Washington Post, 15 Mar. 2023 For decades, few publicly acknowledged the women’s role in the war, said Indiana Hunt-Martin, who was a private first class in the battalion. Faith Karimi, CNN, 23 Feb. 2023 Choi, a private first class, was the lowest-ranking member there, and the lieutenant in charge ordered him to board the bus and count the dead. Max Kim, Los Angeles Times, 24 Apr. 2023 The former Army private first class journeyed to New Orleans from California aboard an Amtrak train. Robert Higgs, cleveland, 12 Jan. 2023 All are infantrymen, Bianzon and Labial with the rank of specialist and Camentil, Flores and Ramit with the rank of private first class. Justine McDaniel, Washington Post, 2 Dec. 2022 Johan Theodoor Aldewereld, who served as a private first class and fought hand-to-hand against North Korean soldiers, returned to South Korea in 2016 -- his first time back since he was discharged during the war. Jessie Yeung, CNN, 26 Aug. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'private first class.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1918, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of private first class was in 1918

Dictionary Entries Near private first class

Cite this Entry

“Private first class.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

private first class

: an enlisted person with a rank just below corporal in the army or just below lance corporal in the marines
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