a. A commissioned rank in the US Army, Air Force, or Marine Corps that is above lieutenant colonel and below brigadier general.
b. One who holds this rank or a similar rank in another military organization.
2. An honorary nonmilitary title awarded by some states of the United States.
[Alteration of obsolete coronel, from French, from Old Italian colonello, from diminutive of colonna, column of soldiers, from Latin columna, column; see kel-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
colonel·cy, colonel·ship′ n.
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