Definition of officer in English:



  • 1A person holding a position of authority, especially one with a commission, in the armed services, the mercantile marine, or on a passenger ship.

    ‘he is also a serving officer in the army’
    • ‘There are also schools to train officers for the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard.’
    • ‘Elected by a meeting of the ship's officers, it helps to foster comradely relations among servicemen.’
    • ‘His father was a retired military intelligence officer in the Egyptian army.’
    • ‘In 1969, he applied for Officer Candidate School and earned a commission as an Infantry officer.’
    • ‘The hardest workers among you may become chief petty officers, warrant officers and commissioned officers.’
    • ‘But the retired army warrant officer said it's not good enough.’
    • ‘Anderson later served as a warrant officer and commissioned officer in the Army Reserve.’
    • ‘In some cases, high-ranking officers re-entered the Red Army with their previous ranks restored.’
    • ‘He was one of the earliest Royal Marines officers to qualify as a fixed-wing pilot.’
    • ‘We have more women commissioned officers than the Active Army, even though we're about 60 percent smaller.’
    • ‘The General was commissioned as an Infantry officer from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.’
    • ‘The officers of the Continental Army made up perhaps the most cohesive and most national of institutions.’
    • ‘He was commissioned as an armor officer in 1991 from Niagara University.’
    • ‘She had lunch with some of the ship's officers before going on to meet members of her air squadrons.’
    • ‘China has sacked two high-ranking naval officers involved in a fatal submarine accident.’
    • ‘His public service began as an Infantry officer in the Army.’
    • ‘Commissioned as an infantry officer, he served in a variety of command and staff positions prior to joining the senior faculty at West Point.’
    • ‘"It became an intelligence war," said a senior military intelligence officer last week.’
    • ‘The new pattern was that he appointed almost all retired army officers into civilian offices.’
    • ‘I would not be in favor of seeing another commanding officer in charge of the military.’
    committee member, official, office-holder, office-bearer, board member, public servant, administrator, commissioner, executive, functionary, bureaucrat, dignitary
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    1. 1.1 A policeman or policewoman.
      ‘Special Constables provide valuable support to full-time officers’
      ‘tougher sentences for attacks on police officers’
      • ‘A procedure which left it to individual officers in police stations to perform some sort of balancing exercise would, it was said, be unworkable.’
      • ‘The 33-year-old was interviewed by Garda officers at the police station at Dublin Airport.’
      • ‘He was due to be interviewed by officers at Manchester Airport police station today.’
      • ‘He followed the officer inside the cold police station.’
      • ‘Unlike special constables, the officers will be full-time and have limited powers.’
      • ‘At the police station, while officers were speaking to the individuals who had reported the threat, the man showed up.’
      • ‘Discipline in all walks of life, punctuality, politeness and good manners are expected from the police constables and officers.’
      • ‘Lancashire will soon be paying more retired officers than police constables it currently employs.’
      • ‘He then went to the police station whose officers promised to release him after interrogation.’
      • ‘They pulled into the police station and the officer guided him in.’
      • ‘In addition to mounted police, motorcyclists and special constables, undercover officers will mingle with crowds.’
      • ‘The man was unable to give any information about himself, and officers contacted other police stations in the city to locate his relatives.’
      • ‘The car stopped in front of the police station and the officer pulled him out of the car harshly.’
      • ‘Seiler's case sparked a manhunt involving 150 officers, police dogs and a helicopter.’
      • ‘As a poster campaign aimed at urging the public to be more vigilant was launched, transport police said plain-clothes officers would patrol the Tube network.’
      • ‘Course instructors are officers from Pattaya police station.’
      • ‘At a police station two plain-clothes officers introduced themselves as members of Special Branch.’
      • ‘They were questioned by officers at a local police station before being released on bail until October 10.’
      • ‘There are now many facets to police work and numerous officers not on patrol.’
      • ‘There are a number of police stations where officers were selling confidential information to private investigators.’
      police officer, policeman, policewoman, pc, wpc, officer of the law, detective, dc
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    2. 1.2 A bailiff.
      • ‘Every official examiner and deputy official examiner is an officer of every court in Ontario.’
      • ‘Special bailiffs are officers appointed by the sheriff at the request of a plaintiff for the purpose of executing a particular process.’
      • ‘Strictly, this is not evidence, although it is accepted, being the representations of a responsible officer of the court.’
      • ‘They are interrupted by a knock on the door and Val is horrified to find a bailiff officer on her doorstep.’
      • ‘When the court appoints a receiver or manager the receiver/manager is an officer of the court not the agent of either party in the proceedings.’
      • ‘She owed a vast sum of money, and the sheriff's officers arrived to confiscate the family property.’
  • 2A holder of a public, civil, or ecclesiastical office.

    ‘a probation officer’
    ‘the Chief Medical Officer’
    • ‘The samithi has pointed out the need to appoint a jurist or a civil service officer as chairman of the Board.’
    • ‘What is hair raising though is that a civil servant, an officer from the Road Traffic Commission, is involved.’
    • ‘Where a court or a public officer wrongly refuses jurisdiction the exercise of the jurisdiction can be commanded by a writ of mandamus.’
    • ‘During months of bombing, there were no public health officers to issue death certificates, which explains the lack of official statistics.’
    • ‘The professional is held in high regard like the officers of a religious organization or a professor in the educational world.’
    • ‘He did not see his passport, and the agent dealt with the immigration officer at the airport.’
    • ‘They had forgotten that they no longer were royal officers, but civil servants.’
    • ‘Other statements indicate a wider discontent among government officers.’
    • ‘He left school at 16 to obtain a secure job as a tax officer in the civil service.’
    • ‘Local electoral officers are responsible for the conduct of local authority elections.’
    • ‘Our system ordinarily reserves that function to the judicial officer hearing the merits of the matter.’
    • ‘I like to drive, he told his probation officer after his arrest.’
    • ‘I have never heard of a judicial officer saying to a select committee that they want more jobs, better conditions, better pay, and all those things that flow from it.’
    • ‘Now we know our rights, and protect ourselves from scam attorneys and deceitful immigration officers.’
    • ‘His wife, Janice, was only asked to confirm his identity to a coroners officer on Saturday July 19.’
    • ‘Government officers should see public property as their own and seek to protect it.’
    • ‘The ambassador and other embassy officers periodically urged the Government to expedite registration of church groups.’
    • ‘It appears that his offences were committed after he had been recruited by intelligence officers of the government.’
    • ‘Environmental health officers serve closure orders when they believe there is a serious and immediate danger to public health.’
    • ‘He said she told a probation officer: "I will never forgive myself."’
    • ‘Citizen public security officers marked by red armbands took their places.’
    • ‘It is also an offence to make false representation to an immigration officer.’
    representative, agent, deputy, messenger, envoy
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    1. 2.1 A holder of a senior post in a society, company, or other organization.
      ‘a chief executive officer’
      • ‘He was promoted to chief operating officer a year later, and became president in late 2000.’
      • ‘They have held corporate officers and directors accountable for their actions.’
      • ‘I carried over my enthusiasm for D-dimer testing to another hospital in which I was a medical senior house officer.’
      • ‘Directors, officers and other senior financial officers set the tone for ethical behavior within any organization.’
      • ‘The Applicant was represented by an officer of his trade union.’
      • ‘A creditor cannot come after an officer, director or shareholder to satisfy the obligations of the corporation.’
      • ‘She said the Minister appointed the chief executive officer of the authority last week.’
      • ‘National union officers reported privatization increased the likelihood of redundancies and lower job security.’
      • ‘Its August survey of banks' senior loan officers says business loans are increasingly available.’
      • ‘The investment management company separated the roles of chief investment officer and managing director following the controversy.’
      • ‘There are several local union officials and officers involved.’
      • ‘Francis becomes chief marketing officer and managing director at the Wayne, Pa., company.’
      • ‘He is Lucent's chief technology officer and executive vice president of corporate strategy and marketing.’
      • ‘For example left wing union officers organised the teachers' demonstration in London in March.’
      • ‘The chief technical officer and senior vice president also believes size is only part of the story.’
      • ‘He rocketed to the post of chief financial officer in less than eight years.’
      • ‘Like Amegy, Sterling's officers and directors control about 9 percent of the bank's shares.’
      • ‘The regional directorate has its own press officers, accountants and managers.’
      • ‘The university relations officer works to represent students on all matters pertaining to governance of the university.’
      • ‘In the past decade, many of my co-workers have left journalism to become mostly corporate public relation officers.’
      • ‘Others argue that they can always unload a stock if corporate officers and directors are taking advantage of shareholders.’
      leader, head, headman, boss, chief, director, manager, overseer, controller, master
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  • 3A member of a certain grade in some honorary orders, such as the grade next below commander in the Order of the British Empire.

    • ‘Tutte was elected to the Royal Society of Canada and of London, and was installed as an officer of the Order of Canada in late 2001.’
    • ‘It was attended in a body by the officers and members of the Yukon order of Pioneers.’
    • ‘The international optics authority, who had an asteroid named after him, is made an officer of the NZ Order of Merit.’
    • ‘An officer of the Order of Canada, he received a distinguished service award from the Canadian Society for Nutritional Sciences in 1990.’
    • ‘In 1984, he was made an officer of the Order of the Rokel of the Republic of Sierra Leone, the country's highest accolade.’
    • ‘The band's guitar player, Jimmy Page, is now an officer of the British empire.’


[with object]
  • 1Provide with military officers.

    ‘the aristocracy wielded considerable power, officering the army’
    • ‘Western militaries are typically small, professional organizations officered by the middle class and filled by working-class volunteers.’
    • ‘It was six months before Andrew got a command, but then of troops purposely ill-equipped, poorly officered and virtually untrained.’
    • ‘At independence, the army of the Congo, known as the Force Publique, was officered by the Belgians and Lumumba had the audacity to support its ‘Congolisation’.’
    • ‘The Gendarmerie (local constabulary trained and officered by Marines), supported by the Marine brigade, tracked down and killed Peralte and Batraville.’
    • ‘The British officer corps was still dominated by the ‘gentleman’ and remained essentially a working-class Army officered by the upper classes.’
    1. 1.1 Act as the commander of (a unit)
      ‘foreign mercenaries were hired to officer new regiments’
      • ‘Thus most of the 380,000 blacks who served in the Army were in labor units officered by whites.’
      • ‘The navy, of course, was commanded and largely officered by Royal Navy personnel.’
      • ‘It expanded by calling upon the states for militia, officered by men chosen and characterized by bonds of friendship, popularity, and politics.’
      • ‘The Streltsy and the Cossacks were professional units but they were officered by foreigners.’
      • ‘The Royal Navy - the navy which helped keep the peace in Europe and around the world for a hundred years - was officered by many such men, who started their careers as boys.’
      • ‘The temporary levies of the earlier period were replaced by standing armies, officered by professionals, comprising élite or shock troops plus conscripted peasants.’
      • ‘In 1644, Parliament passed Self-Denying Ordinance, intended to get soldiers out of Parliament, for the Roundhead army was largely officered by MPs.’
      • ‘The governor ultimately decided that ‘all the companies will be officered by white men in compliance with United States regulations.’’
      • ‘The division's fighting elements were 8,000 Philippine Scouts, officered by Americans, a US infantry regiment some 2,000 strong, and a regiment of artillery.’
      • ‘They finished training in December 1942 and three battalions of 1,000 men each were formed, but they were officered by Germans who gave their orders in German.’
      • ‘The Hungarian parliament refused unless Hungarian was introduced as a language of command into Hungarian units, which would be officered uniquely by Hungarians, not by Germans.’


Middle English: via Anglo-Norman French from medieval Latin officiarius, from Latin officium (see office).