Etymology
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lieutenant (n.)

late 14c., "one who takes the place of another," from Old French lieu tenant "substitute, deputy," literally "place holder" (14c.), from lieu "place" (see lieu) + tenant, present participle of tenir "to hold," from PIE root *ten- "to stretch." The notion is of a "substitute" for higher authority.

Specific military sense of "army officer next in rank to a captain and commanding the company in his absence" is from 1570s. Pronunciation with lef- is common in Britain, and spellings to reflect it date back to 14c., but the origin of this is a mystery (OED rejects suggestion that it comes from old confusion of -u- and -v-).

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Definitions of lieutenant

lieutenant (n.)
a commissioned military officer;
lieutenant (n.)
an officer in a police force;
Synonyms: police lieutenant
lieutenant (n.)
an assistant with power to act when his superior is absent;
Synonyms: deputy
lieutenant (n.)
an officer holding a commissioned rank in the United States Navy or the United States Coast Guard; below lieutenant commander and above lieutenant junior grade;
From wordnet.princeton.edu