billet

1
[bil-it]

noun

verb (used with object), bil·let·ed, bil·let·ing.

Military. to direct (a soldier) by ticket, note, or verbal order, where to lodge.
to provide lodging for; quarter: We arranged with the townspeople to billet the students.

verb (used without object), bil·let·ed, bil·let·ing.

to obtain lodging; stay: They billeted in youth hostels.

Origin of billet

1
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

billet

2
[bil-it]

noun

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

Origin of billet

2
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. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for billet

billet

1

noun

accommodation, esp for a soldier, in civilian lodgings
the official requisition for such lodgings
a space or berth allocated, esp for slinging a hammock, in a ship
informal a job
archaic a brief letter or document

verb -lets, -leting or -leted

(tr) to assign a lodging to (a soldier)
(tr) informal to assign to a post or job
to lodge or be lodged
Derived Formsbilletee, nounbilleter, noun

Word Origin for billet

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

billet

2

noun

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

Word Origin for billet

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.

n.1

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

n.2

"document, note;" see billet-doux.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper