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brevet

[bruh-vet, brev-it] /brəˈvɛt, ˈbrɛv ɪt/
noun
1.
a commission promoting a military officer to a higher rank without increase of pay and with limited exercise of the higher rank, often granted as an honor immediately before retirement.
verb (used with object), brevetted, brevetting or breveted, breveting.
2.
to appoint, promote, or honor by brevet.
Origin
1325-1375
1325-75; Middle English < Anglo-French; Old French brievet. See brief, -et
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for brevet
  • brevet rank shall be considered strictly honorary and shall confer no privilege of precedence or command, nor pay any emoluments.
  • He failed his brevet exam, and subsequently dropped out of school.
British Dictionary definitions for brevet

brevet

/ˈbrɛvɪt/
noun
1.
a document entitling a commissioned officer to hold temporarily a higher military rank without the appropriate pay and allowances
verb -vets, -vetting, -vetted, -vets, -veting, -veted
2.
(transitive) to promote by brevet
Derived Forms
brevetcy, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French brievet a little letter, from brief letter; see brief
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
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Word Origin and History for brevet
n.

mid-14c., from Old French brievet "letter, note, piece of paper; papal indulgence" (13c.), diminutive of bref "letter, note" (see brief (adj.)). Army sense is from 1680s.

v.

1839, from French breveter, from brevet (see brevet (n.)). Related: Breveted; breveting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for brevet

form of military commission formerly used in the U.S. and British armies. Under the system in which an officer was customarily promoted within his regiment or corps, a brevet conferred upon him a rank in the army at large higher than that held in his corps. Frequently it carried with it the pay, right to command, and uniform of the higher grade. In the United States especially, brevet rank was widely bestowed as a reward for outstanding service; it became the subject of extensive confusion and controversy during the American Civil War. After 1865, U.S. brevet rank was gradually stripped of its benefits, and officers were rewarded instead by decorations. Commission by brevet was declared obsolete in 1922. Special commissions bearing some of the characteristics of the brevet have been used in other armies.

Learn more about brevet with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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