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[bri-geyd] /brɪˈgeɪd/
a military unit having its own headquarters and consisting of two or more regiments, squadrons, groups, or battalions.
a large body of troops.
a group of individuals organized for a particular purpose:
a fire brigade; a rescue brigade.
History/Historical. a convoy of canoes, sleds, wagons, or pack animals, especially as used to supply trappers in the 18th- and 19th-century Canadian and U.S. fur trade.
verb (used with object), brigaded, brigading.
to form into a brigade.
to group together.
Origin of brigade
1630-40; < French < Old Italian brigata company of soldiers, orig. group, band, equivalent to brig(are) probably to associate (with), be together (obsolete sense) (see brigand) + -ata -ade1
Related forms
interbrigade, adjective
subbrigade, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for brigade
  • Recruits for the various regiments connected with this brigade are coming in thick and fast.
  • They all considered themselves volunteer members of the antipoaching brigade.
  • By forcing the gravy train brigade to clean up their act he is doing the world an enormous service.
  • His brigade could use more engineers and air support.
  • We chatted while he waited for orders from brigade headquarters.
  • The fire brigade from the township below was summoned by a mobile phone call.
  • By the time the fire brigade arrived, there was nothing for them to do but inspect the building and fill out a report.
  • Then, there would be no stopping the small-satellite brigade.
  • It may include a shake-up of foreign aid, and money for a new rapid-response army brigade.
  • In truth, the anti-dam brigade's arguments are laced with hypocrisy.
British Dictionary definitions for brigade


a formation of fighting units, together with support arms and services, smaller than a division and usually commanded by a brigadier
a group of people organized for a certain task: a rescue brigade
verb (transitive)
to organize into a brigade
to put or group together
Word Origin
C17: from Old French, from Old Italian, from brigare to fight, perhaps of Celtic origin; see brigand
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for brigade

"subdivision of an army," 1630s, from French brigade "body of soldiers" (14c.), from Italian brigata "troop, crowd, gang," from brigare "brawl, fight," from briga "strife, quarrel," perhaps of Celtic (cf. Gaelic brigh, Welsh bri "power") or Germanic origin.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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