What does colonel mean?

Definitions for colonel
ˈkɜr nlcolonel

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word colonel.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. colonelnoun

    a commissioned military officer in the United States Army or Air Force or Marines who ranks above a lieutenant colonel and below a brigadier general


  1. colonelnoun

    A commissioned officer in the army, air force, or marine corps. In U.S. military, it ranks above a lieutenant colonel and below a brigadier general.

  2. Etymology: First attested 1548, from coronel, from colonnello, from compagna colonnella, from columna

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. COLONELnoun

    The chief commander of a regiment; a field officer of the highest rank, next to the general officers. It is now generally sounded with only two distinct syllables, col’nel.

    Etymology: Of uncertain etymology. Stephen Skinner imagines it originally colonialis, the leader of a colony. John Minsheu deduces it from colonna, a pillar; as patriæ columen; exercituscolumen. Each is plausible.

    The chiefest help must be the care of the colonel, that hath the government of all his garrison. Edmund Spenser, on Ireland.

    Captain or colonel, or knight in arms,
    Whose chance on these defenceless doors may seize,
    If deed of honour did thee ever please,
    Guard them, and him within protect from harms. John Milton.


  1. Colonel

    Colonel (; abbreviated as Col., Col or COL) is a senior military officer rank used in many countries. It is also used in some police forces and paramilitary organizations. Historically, in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, a colonel was typically in charge of a regiment in an army. Modern usage varies greatly, and in some cases, the term is used as an honorific title that may have no direct relationship to military service. The rank of colonel is typically above the rank of lieutenant colonel. The rank above colonel is typically called brigadier, brigade general or brigadier general. In some smaller military forces, such as those of Monaco or the Vatican, colonel is the highest rank. Equivalent naval ranks may be called captain or ship-of-the-line captain. In the Commonwealth's air force ranking system, the equivalent rank is group captain.


  1. colonel

    A colonel is a high-ranking military officer, typically below the general rank, in the army, air force, and marine corps. The function, authority, and responsibilities vary significantly depending on the country, branch of military, and specific context. They're often responsible for a specific unit of troops, developing strategic plans, or overseeing operations.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Colonelnoun

    the chief officer of a regiment; an officer ranking next above a lieutenant colonel and next below a brigadier general

  2. Etymology: [F. colonel, It. colonello, prop., the chief or commander of a column, fr. colonna column, L. columna. See Column.]


  1. Colonel

    Colonel, abbreviated Col, is a military rank of a senior commissioned officer. It or a corresponding rank exists in most armies and in many air forces; the naval equivalent rank is generally captain. In air forces with a separate rank structure, the equivalent rank is generally group captain. It is also used in some police forces and other paramilitary rank structures. A colonel was typically in charge of a regiment in an army, especially in Great Britain; but typically as of 2012 a colonel is the commander of a brigade or regiment in the U.S. Army or Marine Corps, and of a wing in the US Air Force. 'Colonel' is usually the highest or second-highest field rank, and is below the general ranks.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Colonel

    kur′nėl, n. an officer who has command of a regiment;—ns. Col′onelcy, his office or rank; Col′onelling, playing the colonel; Col′onelship, colonelcy: quality of a colonel. [Fr. and Sp. coronel; a corr. of It. colonello, the leader of a colonna, or column—L. columna.]

The Foolish Dictionary, by Gideon Wurdz


    A male resident of Kentucky. See KERNEL.

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. colonel

    The commander of a regiment, either of horse or foot.

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. colonel

    The title of the highest officer of a regiment, ranking next below a brigadier-general, and above a lieutenant-colonel. The rank of captain in the navy corresponds with this title.

Etymology and Origins

  1. Colonel

    A Far-West title of courtesy bestowed upon anyone who owns a stud horse.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records


    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Colonel is ranked #103181 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Colonel surname appeared 174 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Colonel.

    55.1% or 96 total occurrences were White.
    36.7% or 64 total occurrences were Black.
    2.8% or 5 total occurrences were of two or more races.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'colonel' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #4565

  2. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'colonel' in Nouns Frequency: #1839

How to pronounce colonel?

How to say colonel in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of colonel in Chaldean Numerology is: 6

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of colonel in Pythagorean Numerology is: 4

Examples of colonel in a Sentence

  1. Andrea Zahumensky:

    We launched into this process that we believe now is going to be able to compete, the' Crispy Colonel' has a lot of fans, but we knew we could do better and it wasn't good enough for us.

  2. Ann Wright:

    People who have privilege - I'm a white woman, I'm a retired lieutenant colonel - have to do this because we can.

  3. So I Married an Axe Murderer:

    Charlie Dad, how can you hate The Colonel Stuart Because he puts an addictive chemical in his chicken that makes ya crave it fortnightly, smartass

  4. Speaker Pelosi:

    Today, I am announcing the appointment of Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger, an Air Force veteran and Lieutenant Colonel in the Air National Guard, to serve on the Select Committee, adam Kinzinger brings great patriotism to the Committee's mission : to find the facts and protect our Democracy.

  5. Witness Katie Domingue:

    He wasn't saying anything. I didn't hear anybody screaming either, prayers for Lafayette at Grand Theater. Talking to state police colonel about shooting in Lafayette.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for colonel

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"colonel." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 22 Jun 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/colonel>.

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