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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.
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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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

provide, settle, entertain, shelter, house, billet, domicile, canton, accommodate, harbor, place, board, install, lodge, station, post, establish, bunk, domiciliate, quarter

Examples from the Web for billeting

Historical Examples

  • Gustavus should be given the right of billeting whenever it were necessary.

    The Swedish Revolution Under Gustavus Vasa

    Paul Barron Watson

  • This village was the billeting center for the 2nd Battalion of the regiment.

    The Delta of the Triple Elevens

    William Elmer Bachman

  • When we were at Dranoutre one of them used to hang over our billeting place.

    The Emma Gees

    Herbert Wes McBride

  • We missed our billeting party in the darkness, for it was intense.

  • Captain M. had preceded us to Berles as the billeting officer.

British Dictionary definitions for billeting


  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


  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 billeting



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

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"document, note;" see billet-doux.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper