highest naval officer rank

Admiral is the highest rank in a navy. The term is used internationally by many countries. It derives originally from the Arabic word emīr (= commander), and came to English by way of Old French and Latin.[1]

Variations on the term are:

  • Admiral of the Fleet: originally, the Admiral in charge of an operational fleet, later used to designate senior status.
  • Vice-Admiral: step lower in rank than Admiral.
  • Rear-Admiral: two steps lower in rank than Admiral.
  • Admiralty: the department of government which administers the navy.
    • Admiralty Board: committee of the Ministry of Defence (UK)
  • Admiral: a butterfly of vivid color belonging to the Nymphalid family.


  1. Concise Oxford Dictionary, 9th ed p 18.