Definitions

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

  • n. A commission promoting a military officer in rank without an increase in pay.
  • transitive v. To promote by brevet.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A military document entitling a commissioned officer to hold a higher rank temporarily, but without an increase in pay.
  • n. An organized, long-distance bicycle ride — not a race, but a test of endurance — which follows a designated but unmarked route passing through check points.
  • v. To promote by brevet.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A warrant from the government, granting a privilege, title, or dignity. [French usage].
  • n. A commission giving an officer higher rank than that for which he receives pay; an honorary promotion of an officer.
  • transitive v. To confer rank upon by brevet.
  • adj. Taking or conferring rank by brevet.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A letter of authority; a commission.
  • n. In the British and American armies, a commission to an officer which promotes him to a higher rank, without conferring a right to receive corresponding advance in pay.
  • n. A patent; a warrant; a license; a commission; an official diploma in writing, conferring some privilege or distinction.
  • Assigned or conferred by brevet; appointed by brevet.
  • To confer brevet rank upon.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. promote somebody by brevet, in the military
  • n. a document entitling a commissioned officer to hold a higher rank temporarily (but without higher pay)

Etymologies

Middle English, official letter, from Anglo-Norman, diminutive of bref, letter, from Latin brevis, short; see brief.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle English brevet 'official letter', from Anglo-Norman diminutive of bref 'letter', from Latin brevis 'short' (see English brief) (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Count ([Greek: komês]; comes; companion), but having not yet laid aside his belt of office, nor received the honour of admission to the palace, or what they call brevet-rank (_codicilli vacantes_), which honour at the end of his term of service is given to him, and to none of the other chiefs of departments [126].

    The Letters of Cassiodorus Being A Condensed Translation Of The Variae Epistolae Of Magnus Aurelius Cassiodorus Senator

  • It might have lasted for ever if the Major had not been made what is called a brevet-colonel during the shuffling of troops that went on just before the South African War.

    The Good Soldier

  • In order to advance to lycée or high school, students are required to take a week-long exam called the brevet at the end of Grade 9.

    Planet Nomad

  • I predict a randonneuring parody by 2020, which should give him plenty of time to compile a bunch of words that rhyme with "brevet" and plan a "collabo" with Velo Orange.

    Parroting: Continual Conversations with the Road

  • Jane and I see that she goes to everything, and we've scared her up a kind of brevet beau -- an old rooster named Brownwell -- Adrian Pericles Brownwell, who has blown in here and bought the _Banner_ from Ezra Lane.

    A Certain Rich Man

  • To get back to the surrender of 1 GORDONS - I can't go and dig out the story at the moment but it somehow involved the question of 'brevet' rank at the time and a trial for slander (?) after the war.

    Army Rumour Service

  • Slim Master of War by Robert Lyman john To get back to the surrender of 1 GORDONS - I can't go and dig out the story at the moment but it somehow involved the question of 'brevet' rank at the time and a trial for slander (?) after the war.

    Army Rumour Service

  • He laughed to himself as he mused: "You know, my dear, I had to let 'brevet' and 'fret' and

    A Certain Rich Man

  • Washington told Stephen on February 1 that he was leaving for Boston, hoping to solve the Dagworthy problem and gain the brevet commissions.

    George Washington’s First War

  • Washington protested the absurd situation, and Dinwiddie wrote to Commander in Chief William Shirley asking for brevet commissions for Washington and his officers.

    George Washington’s First War

Comments

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  • The "Perfect Brevet" is the name of an antique French corkscrew in my collection. This design utilizes a lazy-tongs mechanism to lever a cork from the bottle.

    January 28, 2010

  • We found that it was etiquette to call them each captain, but I think some of the Deephaven men took the title by brevet upon arriving at a proper age.
    --Sarah Orne Jewett, 1877, Deephaven

    January 28, 2010

  • I love this word.

    July 23, 2008

  • Delightful inducements to embark, fine chance for promotion, it seems--aye, a stove boat will make me an immortal by brevet.

    - Melville, Moby-Dick, ch. 7

    July 23, 2008