- The definition of a colonel is a high ranking military officer.
An example of colonel is an individual in the Army who is an officer in rank above a lieutenant colonel but below a brigadier general.
- a military officer ranking above a lieutenant colonel and below a brigadier general, and corresponding to a captain in the navy
- ☆ an honorary, nonmilitary title in some southern or western U.S. states
Origin: earlier coronel ; from French colonel, coronel (-r- by dissimilation) ; from Italian colonello ; from colonna, (military) column ; from Classical Latin columna, column; French and amp; eastern; English spelling, spelled modified after Classical Latin and amp; Italian but older pronunciation kept inch(es) eastern; English
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
- a. Abbr. COL or Col or Col. A commissioned rank in the U.S. Army, Air Force, or Marine Corps that is above lieutenant colonel and below brigadier general.b. One who holds this rank or a similar rank in another military organization.
- An honorary nonmilitary title awarded by some states of the United States.
Origin: Alteration of obsolete coronel, from French, from Old Italian colonello, from diminutive of colonna, column of soldiers, from Latin columna, column; see kel-2 in Indo-European roots.
- coloˈnel·cy, coloˈnel·shipˌ noun