Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A mounted sentinel stationed in advance of an outpost.
  • n. A small scouting boat used to observe and report on an opposing naval force.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A sentinel, usually on horseback, stationed on the outpost of an army, to watch an enemy and give notice of danger.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A sentinel, usually on horseback, stationed on the outpost of an army, to watch an enemy and give notice of danger; a vidette.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A sentinel on horseback stationed at some outpost or on an elevation to watch an enemy and give notice of danger.

Etymologies

French, from Italian vedetta, alteration (influenced by vedere, to see) of veletta, probably from Spanish vela, watch, from velar, to watch, from Latin vigilāre, to watch through the night, from vigil, awake.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French vedette. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • "vedette" of about 53,000 cubic feet displacement was built.

    Aeroplanes and Dirigibles of War

  • A lightly chastened Ghomeshi, thus reminded of who was actually the vedette of the interview, re-calibrated his focus.

    Archive 2009-04-01

  • Public transport, such as the bus linking St Briac to St Malo (illenoo-services.fr), or the vedette (boat) taking you to St Malo every half-hour (vedettes-saint-malo.com), are reliable and cheap.

    Classic France: the insiders' guide

  • Français · Colombie: Hiperbarrio, projet de jeunes Colombiens, en vedette sur Periodismo Ciudadano

    Global Voices in English » Colombia: Hiperbarrio Featured at Periodismo Ciudadano

  • It also has telenovella queen Verónica Castro, former vedette Olga Breeskin and Manuel "Loco" Valdés.

    Bikinis y rock

  • After four or five meals (lunch/dinner/lunch/dinner -- and again lunch!) with the mussels en vedette* I must admit to breaking down and begging the child within to let me spring for a pricey island pizza -- you know, one with the works!

    moule - French Word-A-Day

  • A vedette of Black Hussars leads the patrol into Gallian territory.

    Archive 2008-09-01

  • Tu es une vedette qui merite bien une place sur la tele francaise !

    in bed with petite

  • Mary Walsh est devenue une vedette de la CBC et est retournée, à 52 ans, vivre à St. John's, dans une grande maison de bois au fond d'une cour ombragée.

    The revenge of the Newfies?

  • After four or five meals lunch/dinner/lunch/dinner--and again lunch! with the mussels en vedette* I must admit to breaking down and begging the child within to let me spring for a pricey island pizza -- you know, one with the works!

    French Word-A-Day:

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Comments

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  • "VEDETTE, a centry (sic) on horse back." (Counterpart on foot would be a picket.) Citation in list description.

    October 9, 2008

  • 1. Also called a vedette boat; a small naval launch used for scouting. 2. A mounted sentry in advance of the outposts of an army.

    February 8, 2008