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Meaning of ENSIGN

Pronunciation:  'ensIn

WordNet Dictionary
  1. [n]  colors flown by a ship to show its nationality
  2. [n]  an emblem flown as a symbol of nationality
  3. [n]  a person who holds a commissioned rank in the United States Navy or Coast Guard; below lieutenant junior grade

ENSIGN is a 6 letter word that starts with E.


 Synonyms: national flag
 See Also: allegory, colors, colours, commissioned naval officer, emblem, flag



Webster's 1913 Dictionary
  1. \En"sign\, n. [L. enseigne, L. insignia, pl. of insigne a
    distinctive mark, badge, flag; in + signum mark, sign. See
    {Sign}, and cf. {Insignia}, 3d {Ancient}.]
    1. 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.
             Hang up your ensigns, let your drums be still.
    2. A signal displayed like a standard, to give notice.
             He will lift an ensign to the nations from far.
                                                   --Is. v. 26.
    3. Sign; badge of office, rank, or power; symbol.
             The ensigns of our power about we bear. --Waller.
       (a) Formerly, a commissioned officer of the army who
           carried the ensign or flag of a company or regiment.
       (b) A commissioned officer of the lowest grade in the
           navy, corresponding to the grade of second lieutenant
           in the army. --Ham. Nav. Encyc.
    Note: In the British army the rank of ensign was abolished in
          1871. In the United States army the rank is not
          recognized; the regimental flags being carried by a
          sergeant called the color sergeant.
    {Ensign bearer}, one who carries a flag; an ensign.
  2. \En"sign\, v. t.
    1. To designate as by an ensign. [Obs.]
             Henry but joined the roses that ensigned Particular
             families.                             --B. Jonson.
    2. 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.
Easton Bible Dictionary

(1.) Heb. 'oth, a military standard, especially of a single tribe (Num. 2:2). Each separate tribe had its own "sign" or "ensign."

(2.) Heb. nes, a lofty signal, as a column or high pole (Num. 21:8, 9); a standard or signal or flag placed on high mountains to point out to the people a place of rendezvous on the irruption of an enemy (Isa. 5:26; 11:12; 18:3; 62:10; Jer. 4:6, 21; Ps. 60:4). This was an occasional signal, and not a military standard. Elevation and conspicuity are implied in the word.

(3.) The Hebrew word _degel_ denotes the standard given to each of the four divisions of the host of the Israelites at the Exodus (Num. 1:52; 2:2; 10:14). In Cant. 2:4 it is rendered "banner." We have no definite information as to the nature of these military standards. (See BANNER.)

Thesaurus Terms
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