Major is a rank of commissioned officer, with corresponding ranks existing in many military forces.
When used unhyphenated, in conjunction with no other indicator of rank, the term refers to the rank just senior to that of an army captain and just below the rank of lieutenant colonel. It is considered the most junior of the field ranks. In some militaries, notably France, the rank is referred to as commandant, while in others it is known as captain-major. It is also used in some police forces and other paramilitary rank structures, such as the New York State Police, New Jersey State Police and several others. As a police rank, Major roughly corresponds to the UK rank of Superintendent.
When used in hyphenated or combined fashion, the term can also imply seniority at other levels of rank, including general-major or major general, denoting a mid-level general officer, and sergeant major, denoting the most senior NCO of a military unit.
It can also be used with a hyphen to denote the leader of a military band such as in pipe-major or drum-major.
Famous quotes containing the word major:
“You should hurry up ... and acquire the cigar habit. Its one of the major happinesses. And so much more lasting than love, so much less costly in emotional wear and tear.”
—Aldous Huxley (18941963)
“What, really, is wanted from a neighborhood? Convenience, certainly, an absence of major aggravation, to be sure. But perhaps most of all, ideally, what is wanted is a comfortable background, a breathing space of intermission between the intensities of private life and the calculations of public life.”
—Joseph Epstein (b. 1937)
“I have not had major experience of talking with people once pronounced brain-dead, but I think we could be safe in saying he did not have great zip.”
—Sir Howard Smith (b. 1919)