from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A formation of troops in which each unit is positioned successively to the left or right of the rear unit to form an oblique or steplike line.
- n. A flight formation or arrangement of craft in this manner.
- n. A similar formation of groups, units, or individuals.
- n. A subdivision of a military or naval force: a command echelon.
- n. A level of responsibility or authority in a hierarchy; a rank: a job in the company's lower echelon.
- transitive v. To arrange or take place in an echelon.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A level or rank in an organization, profession, or society.
- n. A formation of troops, ships, etc. in diagonal parallel rows.
- v. To form troops into an echelon.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. An arrangement of a body of troops when its divisions are drawn up in parallel lines each to the right or the left of the one in advance of it, like the steps of a ladder in position for climbing. Also used adjectively.
- n. An arrangement of a fleet in a wedge or V form.
- transitive v. To place in echelon; to station divisions of troops in echelon.
- intransitive v. To take position in echelon.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A step-like arrangement or order; specifically, a military disposition of troops of such a nature that each division, brigade, regiment, company, or other body occupies a position parallel to, but not in the same alinement with, that in front, thus presenting the appearance of steps, and capable of being formed into one line by moving each of the less advanced divisions, etc., forward until they all aline.
- To form in echelon.
- n. Milit., one of the subdivisions of a command marching in echelon.
- n. In optics, a set of glass plates placed one upon another, with the edge of each projecting slightly, stepwise, beyond the edge of the preceding one. The device, which is due to A. A. Michelson, is used for the production of diffraction spectra of high dispersion and resolving power.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a diffraction grating consisting of a pile of plates of equal thickness arranged stepwise with a constant offset
- n. a body of troops arranged in a line
French échelon, from Old French eschelon, rung of a ladder, from eschiele, ladder, from Late Latin scāla, back-formation from Latin scālae, steps, ladder.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
French échelon, from échelle ("ladder"). (Wiktionary)