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1. a military officer holding commissioned rank immediately junior to a captain
2. a naval officer holding commissioned rank immediately junior to a lieutenant commander
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a junior military officer rank in the armed forces of the USSR (introduced on Sept. 22, 1935) and in the majority of foreign states.

The title “lieutenant” originated in France in the 15th century to describe the post of deputy chief of a detachment, or deputy captain. In the second half of the 17th century lieutenant became a rank in the army and navy in France and other countries. The Russian Navy had the rank of lieutenant from 1701 to 1917.



(poruchik). (1) A junior officer’s rank in the Russian Army above the rank of sublieutenant (podporuchik). The rank was instituted in the 17th century. The corresponding rank in cossack units was sotnik

(2) In the Polish Army (porucznik, “first lieutenant”) and in the Czechoslovak People’s Army (poručík, “lieutenant”), the rank of a junior officer.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
"They have been gone ten days," said Lieutenant Bronsfield at last.
"They have arrived, lieutenant," exclaimed a young midshipman, "and they are doing what all travelers do when they arrive in a new country, taking a walk!"
I am sure of that, if you tell me so, my young friend," said Lieutenant Bronsfield, smiling.
"I should like to believe it," replied the lieutenant, who was quite unmoved.
"Beg pardon, lieutenant," said the midshipman, "but cannot President Barbicane write?"
The youth's eyes had instantly turned in the direction indicated by the awakened and agitated lieutenant, and he had seen the haze of treachery disclosing a body of soldiers of the enemy.
These troops had apparently been going for- ward with caution, their rifles held in readiness, when the youthful lieutenant had discovered them and their movement had been interrupted by the volley from the blue regiment.
The bullet passed Numabo to lodge in the breast of a warrior behind him and as the fellow lunged forward with a scream the others turned and retreated, but to the lieutenant's chagrin they ran in the direction of the plane instead of back toward the forest so that he was still cut off from reaching his machine.
For two or three minutes they circled about him until, at a word from Numabo, they closed in simultaneously, and though the slender young lieutenant struck out to right and left, he was soon overwhelmed by superior numbers and beaten down by the hafts of spears in brawny hands.
As the guard prodded him along the narrow trail, Lieutenant Smith-Oldwick could not but wonder why they had wished to take him alive.
As the warriors pushed the crowd back, opening a space through which the white man was led toward a hut, Lieutenant Smith-Oldwick saw coming from the opposite end of the village a number of Negroes wearing odds and ends of German uniforms.
"Then why did they take me alive?" asked the lieutenant.