Definitions of ensign

  1. a person who holds a commissioned rank in the United States Navy or Coast Guard; below lieutenant junior grade
  2. colors flown by a ship to show its nationality
  3. an emblem flown as a symbol of nationality
  4. a person who holds a commissioned rank in the United States Navy or the United States Coast Guard; below lieutenant junior grade
  5. A signal displayed like a standard, to give notice.
  6. Sign; badge of office, rank, or power; symbol.
  7. Formerly, a commissioned officer of the army who carried the ensign or flag of a company or regiment.
  8. A commissioned officer of the lowest grade in the navy, corresponding to the grade of second lieutenant in the army.
  9. To designate as by an ensign.
  10. To distinguish by a mark or ornament; esp. ( Her.), by a crown; thus, any charge which has a crown immediately above or upon it, is said to be ensigned.
  11. A flag; a banner; a standard; esp., the national flag, or a banner indicating nationality, carried by a ship or a body of soldiers; - as distinguished from flags indicating divisions of the army, rank of naval officers, or private signals, and the like.
  12. A flag; badge; the lowest rank of commissioned officer in the navy.
  13. The sign or flag distinguishing a nation or a regiment: formerly the junior subaltern rank of commissioned officers of the British infantry, so called from bearing the colors.
  14. A standard; the officer who carries it.
  15. A distinguishing flag or banner; standard; badge; symbol.
  16. A military or naval officer.
  17. The flag, banner, or standard of a regiment or a nation; any signal to give notice; a mark of distinction, rank, or office: formerly a commissioned officer of the lowest rank in a company of infantry, the senior of whom carried the regimental colours. Naval ensign, a large banner hoisted on a staff, over the stern of a ship, or at the gaff, when the ship is under sail, for the purpose chiefly of distinguishing the nationality.
  18. To distinguish by some ornament or symbol.
  19. The banner or flag of a regiment; the infantry officer who carries the flag of a regiment; a mark of rank or office; the national flag of a ship.

Usage examples for ensign

  1. At length a sergeant of grenadiers stuck fast, and declared himself incapable of moving either forward or backward; and just after, Ensign Prentice and I felt ourselves in a similar predicament, close together. – A Complete Account of the Settlement at Port Jackson by Watkin Tench
  2. When it cleared for an instant, we made out that she had an English ensign reversed secured to the main- rigging. – Old Jack by W.H.G. Kingston
  3. One ensign, who was sitting by me, was amusing himself, with the gravity worthy of a serious occupation, by letting the poniard, worn ordinarily by naval officers in undress, fall, point downwards, on the planks of the deck. – Abbé Aubain and Mosaics by Prosper Mérimée
  4. Do the soldiers march under the old ensign? – Callista by John Henry Cardinal Newman
  5. " Gentlemen," announced Lieutenant Jack Benson, " Ensign Somers will show you all that is possible about the deck handling and the steering below the surface, and then Ensign Hastings will explain the mechanical points of this craft. – Dave Darrin's Fourth Year at Annapolis by H. Irving Hancock
  6. He's an ensign now. – Our Pilots in the Air by Captain William B. Perry
  7. A British subject residing at Panama had been in the habit of flying the Red Ensign, until one day he hoisted in its place the Union Jack. – The Government of England (Vol. I) by A. Lawrence Lowell
  8. With his own hand he seized a banner from a retreating ensign, and called upon the nearest soldiers to make's stand against the foe. – Project Gutenberg History of The Netherlands, 1555-1623, Complete by John Lothrop Motley
  9. If they had no ensign he would tell by their build and the cut of their sails what nation they belonged to, pointing out to me the differences, which I soon began to perceive. – Poor Jack by Frederick Marryat
  10. The battleship dipped her stately white ensign in acknowledgment, as a swan might salute a fly, and swept on with majesty. – Wild Justice: Stories of the South Seas by Lloyd Osbourne
  11. One more volley would sink them, when a loud cheerful shout rung in their ears, and two boats with the British ensign trailing from the stern were seen pulling rapidly towards them. –  by
  12. Can't you see, by the way he uses his poor little sister, what an awful don Captain Keith must be to a schoolboy of an ensign? – The Clever Woman of the Family by Charlotte M. Yonge
  13. Because a Hungarian name is better for your ensign than your own foreign one. – The Nameless Castle by Maurus Jókai
  14. On the topmost tower was of course planted the ensign of the owner, and that ensign was no other than the regal ruddy Lion of Scotland, ramping on his gold field within his tressure fiery and counter flory, but surmounted by a label divided into twelve, and placed upon a pen- noncel, or triangular piece of silk. – The Caged Lion by Charlotte M. Yonge
  15. So he looked hurriedly through the play, and marked the parts allotted to Ensign Bellefleur. – Dr. Jolliffe's Boys by Lewis Hough
  16. Take no care for that, Sir, your Man, and Ensign Hunt, are excellent at those two; I saw 'em act 'em the other day to a Wonder, they'll be glad of the Employment, my self will be an Operator. – The Works of Aphra Behn, Vol. I (of 6) by Aphra Behn
  17. For reply despairing hands pointed her back toward the river, and there, as she and her groaning servants gazed, the great black masts and yards, with headway resumed and every ensign floating, loomed silently forth and began to pass the veranda. – Kincaid's Battery by George W. Cable
  18. He was the elder brother of one of her friends at school,- a navy officer,- a man who when his ship was cut down by a blundering Briton, and sent to the bottom with over a hundred gallant hearts high- beating because " homeward bound," he, the young ensign, gave his whole strength, his last conscious minute to getting the helpless into the lowered boats, and was the last man in the " sick- bay" before the stricken ship took her final plunge, carrying him into the vortex with a fevered boy in his strong young arms. – Marion's Faith. by Charles King
  19. " Ensign Long, sir," some one said. – Middy and Ensign by G. Manville Fenn