British Military. a rank between colonel and major general.
U.S. Army Informal. a brigadier general.
History/Historical. a noncommissioned rank in the Napoleonic armies.

Origin of brigadier

1670–80; < French: officer commanding a brigade; see brigade, -ier2
Related formsbrig·a·dier·ship, nounun·der·brig·a·dier, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for brigadier

Contemporary Examples of brigadier

Historical Examples of brigadier

  • In that, the Brigadier insisted, lay our only chance of success.

    In the Valley

    Harold Frederic

  • All this I saw in the swift gallop down the hill to rejoin the Brigadier.

    In the Valley

    Harold Frederic

  • And the Brigadier hopes you 'll be speedy with it, for you must reach Maltz by nightfall.

    A Day's Ride

    Charles James Lever

  • I could, for instance, send a messenger with a word to the brigadier of the gendarmerie in Senlac.

    A Set of Six

    Joseph Conrad

  • From the star on either shoulder, Micheals knew he was a brigadier general.

    The Leech

    Phillips Barbee

British Dictionary definitions for brigadier



an officer of the British Army or Royal Marines who holds a rank junior to a major general but senior to a colonel, usually commanding a brigade
an equivalent rank in other armed forces
US army short for brigadier general
history a noncommissioned rank in the armies of Napoleon I

Word Origin for brigadier

C17: from French, from brigade
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 brigadier

1670s, "officer in command of a brigade," from French brigadier, from brigade (see brigade).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper