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brig

[brig]
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noun
  1. Nautical.
    1. a two-masted vessel square-rigged on both masts.
    2. (formerly, in the U.S. Navy) an armed brig-rigged or brigantine-rigged vessel.
    3. the compartment of a ship where prisoners are confined.
  2. a place of confinement or detention, especially in the U.S. Navy or Marines; guardhouse.
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Origin of brig

First recorded in 1705–15; short for brigantine

Brig.

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

Related Words

stockadeprisonslammerguardhouse

Examples from the Web for brig

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • We had a ship, a brig, and twelve schooners, fourteen sail in all.

    Ned Myers

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • I soon began to climb the rigging of the brig, ascending to the mast-heads.

    Ned Myers

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • The brig loaded with cocao, in bulk, at Guayaquil, and sailed for Cadiz.

    Ned Myers

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • We sailed two days after I joined the brig, and had a ten or twelve days' passage.

    Ned Myers

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • The brig sailed, however, and stood across the Atlantic, as if in good earnest.

    Ned Myers

    James Fenimore Cooper


British Dictionary definitions for brig

brig1

noun
  1. nautical a two-masted square-rigger
  2. mainly US a prison, esp in a navy ship
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Word Origin

C18: shortened from brigantine

brig2

noun
  1. a Scot and northern English word for a bridge 1
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Brig.

abbreviation for
  1. Brigadier
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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 brig

n.

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper