• synonyms


[bruh-vet, brev-it]
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  1. a commission promoting a military officer to a higher rank without increase of pay and with limited exercise of the higher rank, often granted as an honor immediately before retirement.
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verb (used with object), bre·vet·ted, bre·vet·ting or bre·vet·ed, bre·vet·ing.
  1. to appoint, promote, or honor by brevet.
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Origin of brevet

1325–75; Middle English < Anglo-French; Old French brievet. See brief, -et
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for brevet

delegation, agency, office, authority, function, work, certificate, consignment, employment, permit, mission, errand, diploma, charge, embassy, instruction, proxy, mandate, trust, appointment

Examples from the Web for brevet

Historical Examples of brevet

  • If they wuz givin' commissions away you wouldn't be a brevet Corporal.

    Si Klegg, Book 5 (of 6)

    John McElroy

  • There is your brevet to the 'Legion,' signed by the Emperor.

  • Brevet Major Fowle was ordered to march against them with two companies.

    Old Fort Snelling

    Marcus L. Hansen

  • He hoped that the Marshal had brought his brevet as brigadier general.

  • At present he is a brevet lieutenant-colonel in the regular army.

British Dictionary definitions for brevet


  1. a document entitling a commissioned officer to hold temporarily a higher military rank without the appropriate pay and allowances
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verb -vets, -vetting, -vetted, -vets, -veting or -veted
  1. (tr) to promote by brevet
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Derived Formsbrevetcy, noun

Word Origin for brevet

C14: from Old French brievet a little letter, from brief letter; see brief
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 brevet


mid-14c., from Old French brievet "letter, note, piece of paper; papal indulgence" (13c.), diminutive of bref "letter, note" (see brief (adj.)). Army sense is from 1680s.

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1839, from French breveter, from brevet (see brevet (n.)). Related: Breveted; breveting.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper