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 In the navy the rank of ensign superseded that of midshipman in 1862.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. 21 Feb. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Ensign." Dictionary of American History. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 21, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/ensign

"Ensign." Dictionary of American History. . Retrieved February 21, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/ensign

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

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. 21 Feb. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"ensign." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 21, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/ensign-0

"ensign." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved February 21, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/ensign-0

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

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. 21 Feb. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"ensign." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 21, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/ensign-1

"ensign." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Retrieved February 21, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/ensign-1

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

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. 21 Feb. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"ensign." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 21, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/ensign

"ensign." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved February 21, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/ensign

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.