Definitions

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

  • noun A commissioned rank in the US Navy or Coast Guard that is above lieutenant junior grade and below lieutenant commander.
  • noun A first lieutenant.
  • noun A second lieutenant.
  • noun One who holds the rank of lieutenant, first lieutenant, or second lieutenant.
  • noun A commissioned officer in the British and Canadian navies ranking just below a lieutenant commander.
  • noun An officer in a police or fire department ranking below a captain.
  • noun One who acts in place of or represents a superior; an assistant or deputy.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In archery, the winner of a lieutenancy in a shooting-match.
  • noun In general, one who holds the place of another in the performance of any duty or function; one authorized to act in lieu of another, or employed to carry out his will or purposes; the substitute or representative of a superior.
  • noun One who holds an office, civil or military, in subordination to or as the representative of a superior; an officer authorized to perform certain functions in the absence or under the orders of another: as, the lieutenant of the Tower of London; the lord lieutenant of Ireland or of an English county (considered the direct representative of the sovereign).

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

  • noun An officer who supplies the place of a superior in his absence; a representative of, or substitute for, another in the performance of any duty.
  • noun A commissioned officer in the army, next below a captain.
  • noun A commissioned officer in the British navy, in rank next below a commander.
  • noun A commissioned officer in the United States navy, in rank next below a lieutenant commander.
  • noun [Eng.] the title of any one of the deputies or assistants of the lord lieutenant of a county.
  • noun an army officer next in rank above major, and below colonel.
  • noun an officer in the United States navy, in rank next below a commander and next above a lieutenant.
  • noun See in Vocabulary.
  • noun [U. S.], [Eng.] A deputy governor acting as the chief civil officer of one of several colonies under a governor general.

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

  • noun military The lowest commissioned officer rank or ranks in many military forces.
  • noun A person who executes the plans and directives of another.
  • adjective A military grade that is junior to the grade the adjective modifies: lieutenant colonel, lieutenant general, lieutenant commander.

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

  • noun a commissioned military officer
  • noun an assistant with power to act when his superior is absent
  • noun an officer in a police force
  • noun an officer holding a commissioned rank in the United States Navy or the United States Coast Guard; below lieutenant commander and above lieutenant junior grade

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, deputy, from Old French : lieu, place; see lieu + tenant, present participle of tenir, to hold (from Latin tenēre; see ten- in Indo-European roots).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French lieu ("place") + tenant ("holding").

Examples

Comments

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  • The pronunciation with /f/ has no clear explanation, but both modern pronunciations are represented in the earliest uses in English: late 14th-century spellings include lutenand, luf-tenand, lieutenant, lutenaunt, leeftenaunt (with lutenant, levetenaunt as variants of the last in other copies of the manuscript).

    August 14, 2008

  • I'm rather fond of the German Leutnant. It just feels official and all stand-up-straighty.

    August 14, 2008

  • Really? I think it's be far stand-up-straightier with the I.

    August 14, 2008

  • Well, it's pronounced LOYT-nant. Which I find so... you know... stand-up-straighty.

    August 15, 2008

  • Ah. Not all looing down, like lieutenant.

    August 15, 2008

  • I would imagine most German ranks have a certain, ah, crispness to them. The slouching Stabsgefreiter, the innocuous Unterfeldwebel, the genial Generalmajor . . . no, the images just aren't coming through.

    August 15, 2008