First-mate meaning

The definition of first mate is the person on a boat that is second in charge after the captain.

An example of first mate is the person who gives orders while the captain is busy.

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An officer on a merchant ship ranking immediately below the captain.
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A merchant ship's officer next in rank below the captain.
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(nautical) An officer on a merchant ship next in rank to the captain and responsible to the captain for the safety and security of the ship.
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