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[brig-uh-deer] /ˌbrɪg əˈdɪər/
British Military. a rank between colonel and major general.
U.S. Army Informal. a brigadier general.
History/Historical. a noncommissioned rank in the Napoleonic armies.
Origin of brigadier
1670-80; < French: officer commanding a brigade; see brigade, -ier2
Related forms
brigadiership, noun
underbrigadier, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for brigadier
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The brigadier, a veteran soldier, knocked loudly at the house-door, and soon the host appeared and asked what was the matter.

  • All this I saw in the swift gallop down the hill to rejoin the brigadier.

    In the Valley Harold Frederic
  • The brigadier and his men were severely reprimanded, but they were not tried.

    An Englishman in Paris Albert D. (Albert Dresden) Vandam
  • I could, for instance, send a messenger with a word to the brigadier of the gendarmerie in Senlac.

    A Set of Six Joseph Conrad
  • The brigadier sent another motor cyclist to say that the battalion would be wiped out if it stayed where it was.

    Our Casualty And Other Stories James Owen Hannay, AKA George A. Birmingham
British Dictionary definitions for brigadier


an officer of the British Army or Royal Marines who holds a rank junior to a major general but senior to a colonel, usually commanding a brigade
an equivalent rank in other armed forces
(US, army) short for brigadier general
(history) a noncommissioned rank in the armies of Napoleon I
Word Origin
C17: from French, from brigade
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 brigadier

1670s, "officer in command of a brigade," from French brigadier, from brigade (see brigade).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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