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

Synonyms for officer

Synonyms: Noun

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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 Frank Nicotera, general counsel and chief administrative officer for Milwaukee World Festival Inc., the nonprofit corporation which operates Summerfest, will leave the organization at the end of December. Tom Daykin, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 3 Dec. 2021 The Securities and Exchange Commission and the New Jersey U.S. attorney’s office have charged the ex-chief financial officer of pharmaceutical company Immunomedics Inc. and his former romantic partner with insider trading. David Smagalla, WSJ, 2 Dec. 2021 Avant's daughter, Nicole, is married to Ted Sarandos, Netflix co-CEO and chief content officer. Fox News, 2 Dec. 2021 The $20 million adjustment reflects savings among government agency operations that were limited earlier in the pandemic as well as unanticipated revenue growth in fiscal year 2021, according to Monica Harmon, the city’s chief financial officer. Billy Kobin, The Courier-Journal, 2 Dec. 2021 In August, Taco Bell teamed with Lil Nas X to make the rapper the chain’s first chief impact officer and star in a campaign designed to promote its breakfast menu. Andrew Hampp, Variety, 1 Dec. 2021 Taylor is president and chief operating officer of the business software company Salesforce. Barbara Ortutay, USA TODAY, 1 Dec. 2021 Jennifer Lotito is the president and chief operating officer of (RED). Jennifer Lotito, CNN, 1 Dec. 2021 In fact, said Marianna Tessel, executive vice president and chief technology officer at tax software maker Intuit, a real digital transformation is never-ending. Verne Kopytoff, Fortune, 1 Dec. 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.

See More

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

Learn More About officer

Time Traveler for officer

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near officer

office premium


officer at arms

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for officer

Last Updated

4 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Officer.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Dec. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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