Colonel meaning

kûr'nəl
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.

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An honorary, nonmilitary title in some Southern or Western U.S. states.
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A commissioned officer in the army, air force, or marine corps. In U.S. military, it ranks above a lieutenant colonel and below a brigadier general.
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A military officer ranking above a lieutenant colonel and below a brigadier general, and corresponding to a captain in the navy.
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An honorary nonmilitary title awarded by some states of the United States.
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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”).
    From Wiktionary