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.
Origin of colonel
- Alteration of obsolete coronel from French from Old Italian colonello from diminutive of colonna column of soldiers from Latin columna column kel-2 in Indo-European roots
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
- First attested 1548, from Middle French coronel, from Old Italian colonnello (“the officer of a small company of soldiers (column) that marched at the head of a regiment”), from compagna colonnella (“little column company”), from Latin columna (“pillar”), originally a collateral form of columen, contraction culmen (“a pillar, top, crown, summit”), o-grade form from a Proto-Indo-European *kʷel- (“going around”).