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billet1

[bil-it]
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noun
  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.
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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.
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verb (used without object), bil·let·ed, bil·let·ing.
  1. to obtain lodging; stay: They billeted in youth hostels.
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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

billet2

[bil-it]
noun
  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.
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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

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

    Various

  • 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

billet1

noun
  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
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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
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Derived Formsbilletee, nounbilleter, noun

Word Origin

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

billet2

noun
  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
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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

v.

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.

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n.1

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

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n.2

"document, note;" see billet-doux.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper