Definition of officer in US English:



  • 1A person holding a position of command or authority in the armed services, in the merchant marine, or on a passenger ship.

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

    ‘a probation officer’
    ‘the Chief Medical Officer’
    • ‘He left school at 16 to obtain a secure job as a tax officer in the civil service.’
    • ‘During months of bombing, there were no public health officers to issue death certificates, which explains the lack of official statistics.’
    • ‘Now we know our rights, and protect ourselves from scam attorneys and deceitful immigration officers.’
    • ‘Citizen public security officers marked by red armbands took their places.’
    • ‘Where a court or a public officer wrongly refuses jurisdiction the exercise of the jurisdiction can be commanded by a writ of mandamus.’
    • ‘They had forgotten that they no longer were royal officers, but civil servants.’
    • ‘It appears that his offences were committed after he had been recruited by intelligence officers of the government.’
    • ‘I like to drive, he told his probation officer after his arrest.’
    • ‘It is also an offence to make false representation to an immigration officer.’
    • ‘The ambassador and other embassy officers periodically urged the Government to expedite registration of church groups.’
    • ‘The samithi has pointed out the need to appoint a jurist or a civil service officer as chairman of the Board.’
    • ‘He did not see his passport, and the agent dealt with the immigration officer at the airport.’
    • ‘Local electoral officers are responsible for the conduct of local authority elections.’
    • ‘Other statements indicate a wider discontent among government officers.’
    • ‘Government officers should see public property as their own and seek to protect it.’
    • ‘Our system ordinarily reserves that function to the judicial officer hearing the merits of the matter.’
    • ‘What is hair raising though is that a civil servant, an officer from the Road Traffic Commission, is involved.’
    • ‘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."’
    • ‘The professional is held in high regard like the officers of a religious organization or a professor in the educational world.’
    • ‘His wife, Janice, was only asked to confirm his identity to a coroners officer on Saturday July 19.’
    • ‘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.’
    representative, agent, deputy, messenger, envoy
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    1. 2.1 A holder of a post in a society, company, or other organization, especially one who is involved at a senior level in its management.
      ‘a chief executive officer’
      • ‘Francis becomes chief marketing officer and managing director at the Wayne, Pa., company.’
      • ‘For example left wing union officers organised the teachers' demonstration in London in March.’
      • ‘Others argue that they can always unload a stock if corporate officers and directors are taking advantage of shareholders.’
      • ‘He is Lucent's chief technology officer and executive vice president of corporate strategy and marketing.’
      • ‘Like Amegy, Sterling's officers and directors control about 9 percent of the bank's shares.’
      • ‘A creditor cannot come after an officer, director or shareholder to satisfy the obligations of the corporation.’
      • ‘The investment management company separated the roles of chief investment officer and managing director following the controversy.’
      • ‘Directors, officers and other senior financial officers set the tone for ethical behavior within any organization.’
      • ‘National union officers reported privatization increased the likelihood of redundancies and lower job security.’
      • ‘In the past decade, many of my co-workers have left journalism to become mostly corporate public relation officers.’
      • ‘The regional directorate has its own press officers, accountants and managers.’
      • ‘He rocketed to the post of chief financial officer in less than eight years.’
      • ‘The university relations officer works to represent students on all matters pertaining to governance of the university.’
      • ‘The Applicant was represented by an officer of his trade union.’
      • ‘He was promoted to chief operating officer a year later, and became president in late 2000.’
      • ‘The chief technical officer and senior vice president also believes size is only part of the story.’
      • ‘She said the Minister appointed the chief executive officer of the authority last week.’
      • ‘I carried over my enthusiasm for D-dimer testing to another hospital in which I was a medical senior house officer.’
      • ‘They have held corporate officers and directors accountable for their actions.’
      • ‘Its August survey of banks' senior loan officers says business loans are increasingly available.’
      • ‘There are several local union officials and officers involved.’
      leader, head, headman, boss, chief, director, manager, overseer, controller, master
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  • 3A member of a certain grade in some honorary orders.

    • ‘The band's guitar player, Jimmy Page, is now an officer 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.’
    • ‘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 international optics authority, who had an asteroid named after him, is made an officer of the NZ Order of Merit.’
    • ‘It was attended in a body by the officers and members of the Yukon order of Pioneers.’


[with object]
  • 1Provide with military officers.

    ‘the aristocracy continued to wield considerable political power, officering the army’
    • ‘The British officer corps was still dominated by the ‘gentleman’ and remained essentially a working-class Army officered by the upper classes.’
    • ‘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.’
    1. 1.1 Act as the commander of (a unit)
      ‘foreign mercenaries were hired to officer new regiments’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Thus most of the 380,000 blacks who served in the Army were in labor units officered by whites.’
      • ‘The Streltsy and the Cossacks were professional units but they were officered by foreigners.’
      • ‘The governor ultimately decided that ‘all the companies will be officered by white men in compliance with United States regulations.’’
      • ‘It expanded by calling upon the states for militia, officered by men chosen and characterized by bonds of friendship, popularity, and politics.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In 1644, Parliament passed Self-Denying Ordinance, intended to get soldiers out of Parliament, for the Roundhead army was largely officered by MPs.’
      • ‘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 navy, of course, was commanded and largely officered by Royal Navy personnel.’
      • ‘The temporary levies of the earlier period were replaced by standing armies, officered by professionals, comprising élite or shock troops plus conscripted peasants.’


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