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or vidette

[vi-det] /vɪˈdɛt/
noun, History/Historical
Also called vedette boat. a small naval launch used for scouting.
a mounted sentry in advance of the outposts of an army.
Origin of vedette
1680-90; < French < Italian vedetta outlook where a sentinel is posted, alteration of earlier veletta (of debated orig.) by association with vedere to see; see -ette Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for vedette
Historical Examples
  • For his ears had caught the challenge of their own vedette on the ridge, and the answer thereto in the taal.

    Aletta Bertram Mitford
  • The vedette brought his short rifle to bear upon the apparition.

    The Long Roll Mary Johnston
  • A letter containing the representation of a bloody hand was sent to the "vedette" office.

  • Ashby checked the pursuit and listened to the report of a vedette.

    The Long Roll Mary Johnston
  • Five minutes and they were skirting an old snake-fence, well out beyond the hail of the last sentry or vedette of the Union lines.

  • At midnight the vedette came in and reported that no one had crossed.

    The Mercenary W. J. Eccott
  • We were continuing our advance across the field where we came on the vedette just mentioned, and all in high spirits.

  • This particular ship is merely experimental, and is known as a "vedette."

  • This was at the embarcadre, as she stepped on to the vedette.

    The Tower of Oblivion Oliver Onions
  • I knew what they meant--the vedette on either side of me was being relieved.

    Who Goes There? Blackwood Ketcham Benson
British Dictionary definitions for vedette


(navy) Also called vedette boat. a small patrol vessel
(military) Also called vidette. a mounted sentry posted forward of a formation's position
Word Origin
C17: from French, from Italian vedetta (influenced by vedere to see), from earlier veletta, perhaps from Spanish vela watch, from velar to keep vigil, from Latin vigilāre
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 vedette

"mounted sentinel placed in advance of an outpost," 1680s, from French vedette, from Italian vedetta, probably from vedere "to see" (see vista).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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