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MAJOR, in military language ; the lowest of the staffofficers; a degree higher than captain. There appear to have been officers called majors as early as 1560, in the German and Spanish troops; they were then the assistants of the colonels. At present, they are generally the commanders of battalions. The French, however, abolished this degree during the revolution ; they have, chefs de bataillon. Their gros major is a halfinvalid officer, who commands the depot of the regiment.