• synonyms


or vi·dette

noun History/Historical.
  1. Also called vedette boat. a small naval launch used for scouting.
  2. a mounted sentry in advance of the outposts of an army.
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Origin of vedette

1680–90; < French < Italian vedetta outlook where a sentinel is posted, alteration of earlier veletta (of debated orig.) by association with vedere to see; see -ette
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for vedette

Historical Examples of vedette

  • I arrived at the bridge at eight o'clock at night, and found a vedette on guard.


    Frank Fox

  • The vedette brought his short rifle to bear upon the apparition.

    The Long Roll

    Mary Johnston

  • Ashby checked the pursuit and listened to the report of a vedette.

    The Long Roll

    Mary Johnston

  • He had placed himself on picket there, with Perico for his vedette.

  • At midnight the vedette came in and reported that no one had crossed.

    The Mercenary

    W. J. Eccott

British Dictionary definitions for vedette


  1. Also called: vedette boat navy a small patrol vessel
  2. Also called: vidette military a mounted sentry posted forward of a formation's position
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Word Origin for vedette

C17: from French, from Italian vedetta (influenced by vedere to see), from earlier veletta, perhaps from Spanish vela watch, from velar to keep vigil, from Latin vigilāre
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 vedette


"mounted sentinel placed in advance of an outpost," 1680s, from French vedette, from Italian vedetta, probably from vedere "to see" (see vista).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper