Skip to main content
Select Source:

Ensign

ENSIGN

ENSIGN. An ensign is the lowest commissioned rank in the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard. Ensign comes from the Latin word insignia, lending the ensign the duty of carrying emblems or banners. In British service, until 1871, an ensign carried the colors as the lowest commissioned officer of infantry. In the United States ensigns existed in the colonial militia, in the Revolution infantry, and in the regular army until 1815, as a rank lower than first, second, or third lieutenant. In the navy the rank of ensign superseded that of midshipman in 1862.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Moskos, Charles C. The American Enlisted Man: The Rank and File in Today's Military. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 1970.

DonRussell/h. s.

See alsoCoast Guard, U.S. ; Navy, United States .

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Ensign." Dictionary of American History. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Ensign." Dictionary of American History. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/ensign

"Ensign." Dictionary of American History. . Retrieved October 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/ensign

ensign

en·sign • n. 1. / ˈensən; ˈenˌsīn/ a flag or standard, esp. a military or naval one indicating nationality. 2. / ˈensən/ a commissioned officer of the lowest rank in the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard, ranking above chief warrant officer and below lieutenant. ∎  hist. the lowest rank of commissioned infantry officer in the British army. ∎  hist. a standard-bearer.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"ensign." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"ensign." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/ensign-0

"ensign." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved October 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/ensign-0

ensign

ensign †battle-cry, watchword; sign, badge; banner XIV (naval flag XVIII); ensign-bearer (hence, various military and naval officers) XVI. — (O)F. enseigne :- L. insignia; see INSIGNIA.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"ensign." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"ensign." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/ensign-1

"ensign." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Retrieved October 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/ensign-1

ensign

ensign •canine • asinine • leonine • saturnine •Antonine • pavonine • rapine •alpine, cisalpine •pitchpine • orpine •lupine, supine •porcupine • vulpine • salamandrine •alexandrine • sapphirine • taurine •endocrine • aventurine • vulturine •colubrine • lacustrine • estuarine •viperine • passerine • catarrhine •intrauterine, uterine •adulterine • riverine • ensign •internecine, V-sign •piscine • porcine • cosine • thylacine •countersign •hircine, ursine •shoeshine • moonshine • sunshine •earthshine •adamantine, Byzantine, elephantine •Tridentine • Levantine • Bechstein •Epstein • amethystine • Rubinstein •Frankenstein • Palestine • Philistine •turpentine • Einstein • Eisenstein •cispontine, transpontine •serotine • infantine • Wittgenstein •Argentine • Palatine •Ballantyne, valentine •eglantine • Hammerstein •clementine • vespertine • serpentine •Florentine •Lichtenstein, Liechtenstein •Constantine • nemertine • Bernstein •hyacinthine, labyrinthine •Jugurthine • grapevine • bovine •Glühwein • cervine • equine •Masson •flaxen, Jackson, klaxon, Sachsen, Saxon, waxen •Samson •Branson, Jansen, Manson, Nansen •arson, Carson, fasten, parson, sarsen •Bresson, delicatessen, Essen, lessen, lesson •Texan •Belsen, keelson, Nelson •Mendelssohn • Empson •Benson, ensign •Stetson •basin, caisson, chasten, diapason, hasten, Jason, mason •Bateson • handbasin • washbasin •Freemason • stonemason • Nielsen •Stevenson •christen, glisten, listen •Gibson, Ibsen •Blixen, Nixon, vixen •Nilsson, Stillson, Wilson •Nicholson • Simpson • Whitsun •Robinson • Acheson •Addison, Madison •Edison •Atkinson • Dickinson • Alison •Tennyson, venison •unison •caparison, comparison, garrison, Harrison •Ericsson • Morrison •archdiocesan, diocesan •jettison • Davisson •bison, Meissen, Tyson •Michelson • Robson •coxswain, oxen •Mommsen, Thompson •Johnson, Jonson, sponson, Swanson •Watson •coarsen, hoarsen, Orson •boatswain, bosun •Robeson • Jolson • moisten • loosen •Wolfson • Cookson • Hudson •Bunsen • tutsan •Grierson, Pearson •Culbertson • Richardson • Anderson •Jefferson • Ferguson • Rowlandson •Amundsen • Emerson • Jespersen •Saracen • Peterson • Williamson •person, worsen •Bergson • chairperson • layperson •salesperson • sportsperson •spokesperson

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"ensign." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"ensign." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/ensign

"ensign." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved October 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/ensign