WARRANT-OFFICER, in the British navy, the name given to officers who rank next to those who hold commissions, being appointed by warrant. They include the master, purser, surgeon, gunner, boatswain and carpenter, the first thre being of " wardroom rank," i.e. messing with the lieutenants. In the military forces a warrant-officer is appointed by a secretary of state's warrant, and ranks below the commissioned officers and above the non-commissioned officers. A warrant-officer often holds an honorary commission.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)