Generalissimo (Italian: Generalissimo [dʒeneraˈlissimo], Spanish: Generalísimo [xeneɾaˈlisimo], Portuguese: Generalíssimo [ʒenɨɾaˈlisimu], Latin: Generalissimus) is a military rank of the highest degree, superior to field marshal and other five-star ranks in the countries where they are used. The word generalissimo is Italian and is the absolute superlative of generale ('general'), thus meaning "the highest-ranking of all generals".
Notable examples of generalissimos include John J. Pershing of the American Expeditionary Forces, Chiang Kai-shek, who was the leader of the Republic of China from 1938 to 1975, Alexander Menshikov of the Russian Imperial Army (1727–1728), Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla of the Revolutionary Army of Mexico (1809–1811), Kim Jong-Il of the Korean People's Army (1991–2011), George Washington of the Continental and United States Armies (1775–1799 and 1798–1799, respectively), Francisco Franco of the Spanish Armed Forces (1939–1975), Maxime Weygand of the French Army (1939), Emilio Aguinaldo of the Philippine Revolutionary Army (1898–1901), Karl Philipp, Prince of Schwarzenberg, and Charles XIV John of Sweden of the Royal Swedish Army (1810–1811).
The word "generalissimo" is an Italian term, from generale, plus the superlative suffix -issimo, itself from Latin -issimus, meaning "utmost, to the highest grade".
Historically this rank was given to a military officer leading an entire army or the entire armed forces of a nation, usually only subordinate to the sovereign. Other usage of the rank has been for the commander of the united armies of several allied powers.
The rank Generalissimus of the Soviet Union would have been a generalissimo but Stalin refused to adopt the rank.