ensign

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en·sign

 (ĕn′sən, -sīn′)
n.
1. A national flag displayed on ships and aircraft, often with the special insignia of a branch or unit of the armed forces.
2. A standard or banner, as of a military unit.
3. (ĕn′sən)
a. A commissioned rank in the US Navy or Coast Guard that is below lieutenant junior grade.
b. One who holds this rank.
4. A badge, emblem, or token of power or authority.

[Middle English ensigne, from Old French enseigne, from Latin īnsignia, insignia; see insignia.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

ensign

(ˈɛnsaɪn)
n
1. (Military) a flag flown by a ship, branch of the armed forces, etc, to indicate nationality, allegiance, etc. See also Red Ensign, White Ensign
2. any flag, standard, or banner
3. (Military) a standard-bearer
4. a symbol, token, or emblem; sign
5. (Military) (in the US Navy) a commissioned officer of the lowest rank
6. (Military) (in the British infantry) a colours bearer
7. (Military) (formerly in the British infantry) a commissioned officer of the lowest rank
[C14: from Old French enseigne, from Latin insignia]
ˈensignˌship, ˈensigncy n
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014

en•sign

(ˈɛn sən; for 1-3,5 also -saɪn)

n.
1. a flag or banner, as a naval standard used to indicate nationality.
2. a badge of office or authority, as heraldic arms.
3. a sign, token, or emblem: the dove, an ensign of peace.
4. the lowest commissioned officer in the navy or coast guard, ranking next below a lieutenant, junior grade.
[1325–75; Middle English ensigne < Old French enseigne < Latin insignia; see insignia]
en′sign•ship`, en′sign•cy, n.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.ensign - a person who holds a commissioned rank in the United States Navy or the United States Coast Guard; below lieutenant junior grade
armed forces, armed services, military, military machine, war machine - the military forces of a nation; "their military is the largest in the region"; "the military machine is the same one we faced in 1991 but now it is weaker"
commissioned naval officer - a commissioned officer in the navy
2.ensign - an emblem flown as a symbol of nationalityensign - an emblem flown as a symbol of nationality
flag - emblem usually consisting of a rectangular piece of cloth of distinctive design
allegory, emblem - a visible symbol representing an abstract idea
3.ensign - colors flown by a ship to show its nationality
colors, colours - a flag that shows its nationality
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.

ensign

noun flag, standard, colours, banner, badge, pennant, streamer, jack, pennon a merchant ship flying the blue ensign of a fleet auxiliary
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002

ensign

noun
Fabric used especially as a symbol:
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Translations

ensign

[ˈensaɪn] N
1. (= flag) → enseña f, pabellón m
see also red C
see also white C
2. (US) (Naut) (= rank) → alférez mf
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005

ensign

[ˈɛnsən ˈɛnsaɪn] n
(= ship's flag) → enseigne f, pavillon m
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005

ensign

n
(= flag)Nationalflagge f
(Mil Hist) → Fähnrich m
(US Naut) → Fähnrich mzur See
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007

ensign

[a, b ˈɛnsən, c ˈɛnsaɪn] n
a. (flag) → insegna, bandiera
b. (Mil) → portabandiera m inv
c. (Am) (Naut) → guardiamarina m inv
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995
References in classic literature ?
There were likewise two ensigns, both very young fellows; one of whom had been bred under an attorney, and the other was son to the wife of a nobleman's butler.
Signals, ensigns, and jacks of all colors were flying from her rigging, on every side.
As for Men-of-War, when they chance to meet at sea, they first go through such a string of silly bowings and scrapings, such a ducking of ensigns, that there does not seem to be much right-down hearty good-will and brotherly love about it at all.
In his military capacity he commands the federal troops, provides for garrisons, and in general regulates military affairs; disposes of all appointments, from colonels to ensigns, and of the governments and posts of fortified towns.
Dufraisse, lieutenant of marines, and Rodamel, naval ensign, and with these were a sergeant and seven soldiers.
Now, what would you say to an ensign's commission in my Guards, and a company after the campaign?"
I changed my plans, joined him, served under him in the campaigns he made, was present at the deaths of the Counts Egmont and Horn, and was promoted to be ensign under a famous captain of Guadalajara, Diego de Urbina by name.
"Beat a flourish, drummer!--shout, soldiers and people!--in honor of the ensign of New England.
"It was a silly affair--I was an ensign at the time.
Dobbin was quite justified in repeating the General's information to any officers of the regiment whom he should see in the course of his peregrinations; accordingly he imparted it to Ensign Stubble, whom he met at the agent's, and who--such was his military ardour--went off instantly to purchase a new sword at the accoutrement-maker's.
This Buonaparte has turned all their heads; they all think of how he rose from an ensign and became Emperor.
More rapidly now we closed the distance between ourselves and the stranger, until I could plainly see the red ensign of the British merchant marine.