colonelcy, n.
/kerr"nl/, n.
1. an officer in the U.S. Army, Air Force, or Marine Corps ranking between lieutenant colonel and brigadier general: corresponding to a captain in the U.S. Navy.
2. a commissioned officer of similar rank in the armed forces of some other nations.
3. an honorary title bestowed by some Southern states, as to those who have brought honor to the state, prominent businesspersons, visiting celebrities, or the like: When the vice president visited the state he was made a Kentucky colonel.
4. Older Use. (in the South) a title of respect prefixed to the name of distinguished elderly men.
[1540-50; < MF < It colon(n)ello = colonn(a) COLUMN + -ello < L -ellus dim. suffix; so named because such an officer orig. headed the first column or company of a regiment]
Pronunciation. COLONEL /kerr"nl/, with its medial l pronounced as /r/, illustrates one source for the apparent vagaries of English spelling: divergence between a word's orthographic development and its established pronunciation. In this case, English borrowed from French two variant forms of the same word, one pronounced with medial and final /l/, and a second reflecting dissimilation of the first /l/ to /r/. After a period of competition, the dissimilated form triumphed in pronunciation, while the spelling colonel became the orthographic standard.

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▪ military rank
      the highest field-grade officer, ranking just below the general officer grades in most armies or below brigadier in the British services. A colonel was traditionally the commanding officer of a regiment or brigade. In air forces that use the same titles of rank as the army, such as the U.S. Air Force, a colonel's command is usually a group; the comparable grade in the Royal Air Force is group captain. When not exercising command of a regiment, group, or equivalent formation, a colonel is generally placed in a senior staff or administrative post.

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  • colonel — colonel, elle [ kɔlɔnɛl ] n. • av. 1544 colonnel; it. colonnello, de colonna « colonne d armée » 1 ♦ N. Officier, officière supérieur(e) qui commande un régiment, ou une formation, un service de même importance (⇒fam. 2. colon). Colonel d… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • colonel — COLONEL. sub. mascul. Celui qui commande un Régiment de Cavalerie, d Infanterie, ou de Dragons. Colonel du Régiment des Gardes. Colonel des Suisses. Lieutenant Colonel. f♛/b] On appelle Colonel Général de la Cavalerie, Celui qui commande toute la …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française 1798

  • colonel — COLONEL. s. m. Celuy qui commande un regiment de cavalerie ou d infanterie. Le Roy l a fait Colonel d un tel regiment. Colonel du regiment des gardes. Colonel des Suisses. Lieutenant Colonel, celuy qui commande la compagnie du Colonel & toutes… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • Colonel — Colo nel, n. [F. colonel, It. colonello, prop., the chief or commander of a column, fr. colonna column, L. columna. See {Column}.] (Mil.) The chief officer of a regiment; an officer ranking next above a lieutenant colonel and next below a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • colonel — [kʉr′nəl] n. [earlier coronel < Fr colonel, coronel ( r by dissimilation) < It colonello < colonna, (military) column < L columna,COLUMN; Fr & E sp. modified after L & It, but older pronun. kept in E] 1. a military officer ranking… …   English World dictionary

  • Colonel — bezeichnet: den militärischen Rang eines Oberst (aus dem Englischen und Französischen) im französischen Heer bis zur Revolution 1789 die Bezeichnung für den Regimentskommandeur, meist ein Prinz oder eine andere hohe Person als Colonel Major den… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • colonel — ► NOUN ▪ a rank of officer in the army and in the US air force, above a lieutenant colonel and below a brigadier or brigadier general. DERIVATIVES colonelcy noun (pl. colonelcies) . ORIGIN from Italian colonnello column of soldiers …   English terms dictionary

  • Colonel — (fr.), 1) so v. w. Oberst; daher C. géneral, bei der französischen Armee Inspecteur einer Waffengattung, meist der Cavallerie; C. lieutenant, Obristlieutenant; 2) Schriftgattung, s. Schrift …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Colonel — (franz., spr. nell), Oberst; C. Lieutenant, bis zur französischen Revolution Kommandeur eines Regiments, dessen Chef, eine hochgestellte Person, das Regiment nicht selbst führte; Lieutenant C., Oberstleutnant; C. Général, ehemals Generaloberst… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Colonel — (frz., spr. néll; engl., spr. körn l), Oberst; auch eine Schriftgattung (s. Kolonel) …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Colonel — Colonel, frz., Oberst. – Schriftgattung, um einen Grad größer als Nonpareille, heißt in England Minion, in Frankreich Mignonne …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

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