Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The commander in chief of a fleet.
  • noun A flag officer.
  • noun A commissioned rank in the US Navy or Coast Guard that is above vice admiral and below Admiral of the Fleet.
  • noun One who holds the rank of admiral, Admiral of the Fleet, rear admiral, or vice admiral.
  • noun Any of various brightly colored nymphalid butterflies of the genera Limenitis and Vanessa, especially V. atalanta, having black wings with red bands.
  • noun Archaic The ship carrying an admiral; flagship.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun An emir or prince under the sultan; any Saracen ruler or commander.
  • noun A naval officer of the highest rank; a commander-in-chief of a fleet.
  • noun The recognized chief commander or director of a mercantile fleet, as one of fishing-vessels off Newfoundland or in the North Sea.
  • noun The ship which carries the admiral; hence, the most considerable ship of any fleet, as of merchantmen or of fishing-vessels.
  • noun A collectors' name for butterflies of the family Papilionidæ, especially the Limenitis camilla, distinguished as white admiral, and the Vanessa atalanta, or red admiral.
  • noun A name given by collectors of shells to a univalve shell, the admiral-shell (which see).
  • Carrying an admiral; chief in a fleet.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A naval officer of the highest rank; a naval officer of high rank, of which there are different grades. The chief gradations in rank are admiral, vice admiral, and rear admiral. The admiral is the commander in chief of a fleet or of fleets.
  • noun The ship which carries the admiral; also, the most considerable ship of a fleet.
  • noun (Zoöl.) A handsome butterfly (Pyrameis Atalanta) of Europe and America. The larva feeds on nettles.
  • noun (Zoöl.) the popular name of an ornamental cone shell (Conus admiralis).
  • noun a great officer of state, who (when this rare dignity is conferred) is at the head of the naval administration of Great Britain.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A naval officer of the highest rank; the commander of a country's naval forces.
  • noun A naval officer of high rank, immediately below Admiral of the Fleet; the commander of a fleet or squadron.
  • noun A flag officer in the United States Navy or Coast Guard of a grade superior to vice admiral and junior to admiral of the fleet (when that grade is used). An admiral is equal in grade or rank to a four star general.
  • noun The ship which carries the admiral, the flagship; also, the most considerable ship of a fleet.
  • noun obsolete A prince or Saracen leader under the Sultan.
  • noun Any of various nymphalid butterflies of Europe and America, especially a red admiral or white admiral.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun any of several brightly colored butterflies
  • noun the supreme commander of a fleet; ranks above a vice admiral and below a fleet admiral

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English amiral, admiral, from Old French and from Medieval Latin amīrālis, admīrālis, both from Arabic ’amīr al- …, commander of the … : ’amīr, commander; see ℵmr in Semitic roots + al-, the.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French admiral, amiral (modern amiral), from Arabic amir-ar-rahl (commander of the fleet), امير (amīr, "commander") + -al. Later associated with admirable. Cognate to amir, emir.

Examples

  • He is an admiral, do you understand, an _admiral_! "

    Madge Morton's Secret

  • The team, led by a four-star admiral, is on three days, off seven.

    Barry Toll

  • What Winston Churchill once wrote about a certain German admiral seems apposite here: "He was like a cut flower in a vase; fair to see, yet bound to die, and to die very soon if the water was not constantly renewed."

    China and the Next American Century

  • Fortunately, Rep Joe Sestak (D-PA), a retired admiral from the United States Navy, was there to defend the rights of Americans against the slander of Mr. DeLay, alleged human being.

    Bugspit

  • In the Roman era Megabazus was called the admiral in chief of 480 B.C., which may be an echo of such a status.

    The Battle of Salamis

  • In the Roman era Megabazus was called the admiral in chief of 480 B.C., which may be an echo of such a status.

    The Battle of Salamis

  • David made Saavik acutely uncomfortable when he referred to the admiral in such an angry, abusive tone.

    THE SEARCH FOR SPOCK

  • “Maybe what we need more than another admiral is another James Kirk.”

    Star Trek: TNG: Losing the Peace

  • Though the admiral was a perfectly nice and personable woman, she was not in the habit of casually dropping by to visit junior officers.

    Star Trek: TNG: Losing the Peace

  • “Maybe what we need more than another admiral is another James Kirk.”

    Star Trek: TNG: Losing the Peace

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