the commander in chief of a fleet.
a naval officer of the highest rank.
a naval officer of a high rank: the grades in the U.S. Navy are , admiral, vice-admiral, and .
Obsolete. the flagship of an admiral.
British. a master who directs a fishing fleet.
any of several often brightly colored butterflies of the family Nymphalidae, as Vanessa atalanta (red admiral)
Contemporary Examples

First, admiral Mullen and Secretary Gates are right to ask for time, and Congress and supporters of repeal should give it to them.
A Discharged Gay Vet: Let Us Back in the Army Anthony Woods February 3, 2010

Now, again the reason admiral Olson and admiral McRaven didn’t want to talk is this command conflict of interest.
Outcry Over SEAL Matt Bissonnette’s Bin Laden Book Reveals Pentagon Hypocrisy Michael Daly September 12, 2012

He used language to make his host, the Navy admiral who was the country’s top military officer, blush.
When I Met Robin Williams in Afghanistan Matthew Kaminski August 19, 2014

The current chairman, admiral Mike Mullen, retires in the fall.
Panetta’s Thankless New Job John Barry April 27, 2011

When admiral Mullen testified, it was one of the most memorable moments of our lives.
Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato’s Favorite World of Wonder Clips (VIDEO) Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato February 4, 2013

Historical Examples

The admiral, who had been quelled for the moment, burst out afresh.
A Mock Idyl Percy Ross

They said, the gentleman who presided, was a Sir Borlase Warren, the admiral on the station.
Ned Myers James Fenimore Cooper

Him the admiral now put forward with his great crossbow and long arrows.
1492 Mary Johnston

Among the officers who came and spoke to us, was an admiral, Sir Isaac Coffin.
Ned Myers James Fenimore Cooper

No doubt he recognized that, if the admiral made a fool of himself, he would be afraid to issue warrants in soberness.
Romance Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer

the supreme commander of a fleet or navy
Also called admiral of the fleet, fleet admiral. a naval officer of the highest rank, equivalent to general of the army or field marshal
a senior naval officer entitled to fly his own flag See also rear admiral, vice admiral
(mainly Brit) the master of a fishing fleet
any of various nymphalid butterflies, esp the red admiral or white admiral

c.1200, “Saracen commander,” from Old French amirail (12c.) “Saracen military commander; any military commander,” probably ultimately from Arabic title amir-ar-rahl “chief of the transport,” officer in the Mediterranean fleet, from amir “leader;” influenced by Latin ad-mirabilis (see admire).

Italian form almiraglio, Spanish almirante are from confusion with Arabic words in al-. Meaning “highest-ranking naval officer” is from early 15c. As a type of butterfly, from 1720, possibly a corruption of admirable.

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    worthy of ; inspiring approval, reverence, or affection. excellent; first-rate. Contemporary Examples Mulligan and Timberlake may be stars, but the Coens leave them admirably unbuffed. Why No Oscar Love For ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’? Tim Teeman January 19, 2014 Twelve days later he admirably fulfilled his enforcer role when he badly beat opposing player David Koci. […]

  • Admiral of the fleet

    an officer of the highest rank in the British navy.

  • Admiralty

    the office or jurisdiction of an admiral. the officials or the department of state having charge of naval affairs, as in Great Britain. a court dealing with maritime questions, offenses, etc. maritime law. the Admiralty, the official building, in London, of the British commissioners for naval affairs. of or relating to admiralty law. Contemporary Examples […]

  • Admiralty board

    noun the Admiralty Board, (formerly) a department of the British Ministry of Defence, responsible for the administration and planning of the Royal Navy Historical Examples No doubt the admiralty board determined that, but we were not present at the session. Heart’s Desire Emerson Hough The room in which our councils met was the same old […]

  • Admiralty brass

    an alloy of not less than 70 percent copper, about 1 percent tin, small amounts of other elements, and the balance zinc; tin brass.

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