1. The officer who commands a squadron or detachment of ships, destined on a particular enterprise. In the British marine, he bears the rank of a brigadier-general in the army, and his ship is distinguished by a broad red pendant, tapering to the outer end, and sometimes forked.

2. A title given by courtesy to the senior captain, when three or more ships of war are cruising in company.

3. The convoy or leading ship in a fleet of merchantmen, which carries a light in her top to conduct the other ships.