• synonyms


See more synonyms for billet on Thesaurus.com
  1. lodging for a soldier, student, etc., as in a private home or nonmilitary public building.
  2. Military. an official order, written or verbal, directing the person to whom it is addressed to provide such lodging.
  3. a place assigned, as a bunk, berth, or the like, to a member of a ship's crew.
  4. job; position; appointment.
  5. Archaic. a written note, short letter, or the like.
Show More
verb (used with object), bil·let·ed, bil·let·ing.
  1. Military. to direct (a soldier) by ticket, note, or verbal order, where to lodge.
  2. to provide lodging for; quarter: We arranged with the townspeople to billet the students.
Show More
verb (used without object), bil·let·ed, bil·let·ing.
  1. to obtain lodging; stay: They billeted in youth hostels.
Show More

Origin of billet1

1375–1425; late Middle English bylet, billett official register < Anglo-French billette, Old French bullette, equivalent to bulle bill1 + -ette -ette
Related formsbil·let·er, nounun·bil·let·ed, adjective


  1. a small chunk of wood; a short section of a log, especially one cut for fuel.
  2. Metalworking. a comparatively narrow, generally square, bar of steel, especially one rolled or forged from an ingot; a narrow bloom.
  3. an iron or steel slab upon concrete, serving as a footing to a column.
  4. Architecture. any of a series of closely spaced cylindrical objects, often in several rows, used as ornaments in a hollow molding or cornice.
  5. a strap that passes through a buckle, as to connect the ends of a girth.
  6. a pocket or loop for securing the end of a strap that has been buckled.
  7. thumbpiece.
  8. Heraldry. a small, rectangular figure with the longer sides generally vertical, said to represent a block of wood.
Show More

Origin of billet2

1400–50; late Middle English bylet, bel(l)et < Anglo-French, Middle French billette, equivalent to bille log, tree trunk (< Gaulish *bilia tree trunk; compare Old Irish bile landmark tree) + -ette -ette
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for billet

Historical Examples

  • In support of his deposition he produced his billet de garde, dated the 8th.

    Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. 327


  • Yes—Mademoiselle had charged her to remit the billet to Monsieur.

  • I smiled, I believe rather sarcastically, and opened the billet.

  • This obliged the Chevalier to write him a billet, which was rather laconic.

  • He was delighted to have my billet, and embracing me, he thanked me a thousand times.

    The Phantom World

    Augustin Calmet

British Dictionary definitions for billet


  1. accommodation, esp for a soldier, in civilian lodgings
  2. the official requisition for such lodgings
  3. a space or berth allocated, esp for slinging a hammock, in a ship
  4. informal a job
  5. archaic a brief letter or document
Show More
verb -lets, -leting or -leted
  1. (tr) to assign a lodging to (a soldier)
  2. (tr) informal to assign to a post or job
  3. to lodge or be lodged
Show More
Derived Formsbilletee, nounbilleter, noun

Word Origin

C15: from Old French billette, from bulle a document; see bull ³


  1. a chunk of wood, esp for fuel
  2. metallurgy
    1. a metal bar of square or circular cross section
    2. an ingot cast into the shape of a prism
  3. architect a carved ornament in a moulding, with short cylinders or blocks evenly spaced
Show More

Word Origin

C15: from Old French billette a little log, from bille log, probably of Celtic origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for billet


1590s, "to assign quarters to," earlier, as a noun, "official record or register" (Middle English), from Anglo-French billette "list, schedule," diminutive of bille (see bill (n.1)). Related: Billeted; billeting.

Show More


thick stick of wood, mid-15c., from Middle French billette, diminutive of bille "stick of wood" (see billiards).

Show More


"document, note;" see billet-doux.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper