Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A grade within the rank of private, either assigned as assistants to corporals or performed the duties of corporals themselves.
  • n. A grade within the rank of corporal; also called lance corporals.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An assistant to a corporal; a private performing the duties of a corporal; -- called also lance corporal.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A subordinate officer in the armies of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

Etymologies

From the Italian lanzia spezzata, which literally means "broken lance" or "broken spear", but which was used to denote a seasoned soldier (the broken spear being a metaphor for combat experience, where such an occurrence was likely). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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