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1. A leader, especially a political leader.
2. A soldier designated as a guide or model for a company's maneuvers or drills.
[Alteration of German Flügelmann, file leader : Flügel, wing (from Middle High German vlügel; see pleu- in Indo-European roots) + Mann, man (from Middle High German man, from Old High German; see man- in Indo-European roots).]
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.
n, pl -men
1. (Military) (formerly) a soldier used as an example for those learning drill
2. any person who acts as a leader or example
[C19: from German Flügelmann, from Flügel wing, flank + Mann man]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
fu•gle•man(ˈfyu gəl mən)
n., pl. -men.
1. (formerly) a soldier placed in front of a military company as a good model during training drills.
2. a person who heads a group, company, political party, etc.; a leader or manager.
[1795–1805; < German Flügelmann literally, flank man]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.