Colonel Definition

kûrnəl
noun
A military officer ranking above a lieutenant colonel and below a brigadier general, and corresponding to a captain in the navy.
Webster's New World
One who holds this rank or a similar rank in another military organization.
American Heritage
An honorary, nonmilitary title in some Southern or Western U.S. states.
Webster's New World

Other Word Forms of Colonel

Noun

Singular:
colonel
Plural:
colonels

Origin of Colonel

  • 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

  • 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

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