cadet gray


a student in a national service academy or private military school or on a training ship.
a student in training for service as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army, Air force, or Coast Guard. Compare midshipman ( def 1 ).
a trainee in a business or profession.
a younger son or brother.
the youngest son.
(formerly) a gentleman, usually a younger son, who entered the army to prepare for a subsequent commission.
Also called cadet blue. a grayish to strong blue color.
Also called cadet gray. a bluish-gray to purplish-blue color.
Slang. a pimp.

1600–10; < French < Gascon capdet chief, captain (referring to the younger sons of noble families); compare Old Provençal capdel headman < Latin capitellum literally, small head; see capital2

cadetship, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
cadet (kəˈdɛt)
1.  a young person undergoing preliminary training, usually before full entry to the uniformed services, police, etc, esp for officer status
2.  a school pupil receiving elementary military training in a school corps
3.  (in England and in France before 1789) a gentleman, usually a younger son, who entered the army to prepare for a commission
4.  a younger son or brother
5.  cadet branch the family or family branch of a younger son
6.  (in New Zealand) a person learning sheep farming on a sheep station
[C17: from French, from dialect (Gascon) capdet captain, ultimately from Latin caput head]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

c.1610, "younger son or brother," from Fr. cadet "military student officer," also, as an adj., "younger" (15c.), from Gascon capdet "captain, chief, youth of a noble family," from L.L. capitellum, lit. "little chief," hence, "inferior head of a family," dim. of L. caput "head" (see
head). Younger sons from Gascon noble families apparently were sent to French court to serve as officers, which gave the word its military meaning. In English, the meaning "gentleman entering the military as a profession" is from 1650s, and that of "student at a military college" is from 1775.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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