AD'MIRAL, n. [In the Latin of the middle ages. Amira, Amiras, Admiralis, an Emir; Heb. to speak. The terminating syllable of admiral may be from the sea. This word is said to have been introduced in Europe by the Turks, Genoese or Venetains, in the 12th or 13th century.]A marine commander in chief; the commander of a fleet or navy.1. The Lord High Admiral, in Great Britain, is an officer who superintends all maritime affairs, and has the government of the navy. He has also jurisdiction over all maritime causes, and commissions the naval officers.2. The Admiral of the fleet, the highest officer under the admiralty. When he embarks on an expedition, the union flag is displayed at the main top gallant mast head.3. The Vice Admiral, an officer next in rank and command to the Admiral, has command of the second squadron. He carries his flag at the fore top gallant mast head. This name is given also to certain officers who have power to hold courts of vice-admiralty, in various parts of the British dominions.4. The Rear Admiral, next in rank to the Vice Admiral, has command of the third squadron, and carries his flag at the mizen top gallant mast head.5. The commander of any single fleet, or in general any flag officer.6. The ship which carries the admiral; also the most considerable ship of a fleet of merchantmen, or of fishing vessels.7. In zoology, a species of shell-fish. [See Voluta.]8. Also a butterfly, which lays her eggs on the great stinging nettle, and delights in brambles.
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