- a two-masted vessel square-rigged on both masts.
- (formerly, in the U.S. Navy) an armed brig-rigged or brigantine-rigged vessel.
- the compartment of a ship where prisoners are confined.
- a place of confinement or detention, especially in the U.S. Navy or Marines; guardhouse.
Origin of brig
First recorded in 1705–15; short for brigantine
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for brig
Manning was forced to strip and remain on a suicide-risk regime against the recommendations of Brig mental-health professionals.Bradley Manning: ‘I Will Recover From This ... This Is Just a Stage in My Life’
August 21, 2013
We had a ship, a brig, and twelve schooners, fourteen sail in all.
I soon began to climb the rigging of the brig, ascending to the mast-heads.
The brig loaded with cocao, in bulk, at Guayaquil, and sailed for Cadiz.
We sailed two days after I joined the brig, and had a ten or twelve days' passage.
The brig sailed, however, and stood across the Atlantic, as if in good earnest.
- nautical a two-masted square-rigger
- mainly US a prison, esp in a navy ship
C18: shortened from brigantine
- a Scot and northern English word for a bridge 1
Word Origin and History for brig
1720, colloquial shortening of brigantine (q.v.). Apparently such vessels being used for prison ships upon retirement from active duty led to extended meaning "a jail," first recorded 1852.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper