• noun a battalion officer (usually a captain) who acts as the commanding officer’s assistant and is also responsible for discipline.
  • abbreviationAdj

Origin & History of “adjutant”

An adjutant was formerly simply an ‘assistant’, but the more specific military sense of an officer who acts as an aide to a more senior officer has now virtually ousted this original meaning. The word comes from a Latin verb for ‘help’, and is in fact related to English aid. Latin adjuvāre ‘help’ developed a new form, adjūtāre, denoting repeated action, and the present participial stem of this, adjutant- ‘helping’, was borrowed into English.