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.
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)