Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Lodging for troops.
  • n. A written order directing that such lodging be provided.
  • n. A position of employment; a job.
  • n. Archaic A short letter; a note.
  • transitive v. To lodge (soldiers).
  • transitive v. To serve (a person) with a written order to provide lodging for soldiers.
  • transitive v. To assign lodging to.
  • intransitive v. To be quartered; lodge.
  • n. A short, thick piece of wood, especially one used as firewood.
  • n. One of a series of regularly spaced, log-shaped segments used horizontally as ornamentation in the moldings of Norman architecture.
  • n. A small, usually rectangular bar of iron or steel in an intermediate stage of manufacture.
  • n. A small ingot of nonferrous metal.
  • n. The part of a harness strap that passes through a buckle.
  • n. A loop or pocket for securing the end of a buckled harness strap.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A short informal letter.
  • n. A written order to quarter soldiers.
  • n. a place where a soldier is assigned to lodge
  • v. to lodge soldiers, usually by order
  • v. to lodge, or be quartered, in a private house
  • n. metallurgy a semi-finished length of metal
  • n. a short piece of wood, especially one used as firewood
  • n. A rectangle used as a charge on an escutcheon
  • n. An ornament in Norman work, resembling a billet of wood either square or round.
  • n. A strap which enters a buckle.
  • n. A loop which receives the end of a buckled strap.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A small paper; a note; a short letter.
  • n. A ticket from a public officer directing soldiers at what house to lodge.
  • n. Quarters or place to which one is assigned, as by a billet or ticket; berth; position. Also used fig.
  • transitive v. To direct, by a ticket or note, where to lodge. Hence: To quarter, or place in lodgings, as soldiers in private houses.
  • n. A small stick of wood, as for firewood.
  • n. A short bar of metal, as of gold or iron.
  • n. An ornament in Norman work, resembling a billet of wood either square or round.
  • n.
  • n. A strap which enters a buckle.
  • n. A loop which receives the end of a buckled strap.
  • n. A bearing in the form of an oblong rectangle.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A small paper or note in writing; a short letter or document.
  • n. A ticket given by a billet-master or other officer directing the person to whom it is addressed to provide board and lodging for the soldier bearing it.
  • n. Hence The place where a soldier is lodged; lodging; accommodation.
  • n. The place (marked by a numbered hammock-hook) assigned to each of the crew of a man-of-war for slinging his hammock.
  • n. Hence A place, situation, position, or appointment: as, he is looking for a billet.
  • n. A ballot or voting-paper.
  • To direct (a soldier) by a ticket or note where to lodge; hence, to quarter or place in lodgings, as soldiers in private houses.
  • To be quartered; lodge: specifically applied to soldiers.
  • n. A small stick of wood; especially, a stick of wood cut for fuel.
  • n. In heraldry, a bearing in the form of a small rectangle, usually set with the long sides vertical.
  • n. In architecture: An ornament much used in early medieval work, consisting of an imitation of a wooden billet, or a small section of a rod, of which a series are placed at regular intervals in or upon a molding, usually a concave molding. See cut under billet-molding.
  • n. A checker.
  • n. A short strap used for connecting various straps and portions of a harness.
  • n. A pocket or loop into which the end of a strap is inserted after passing through a buckle.
  • n. A small bloom; a short bar of iron or steel, with a square section, and of smaller size than an ordinary “pile.”
  • n. A local English name of the coal-fish, especially when one year old.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a short personal letter
  • v. provide housing for (military personnel)
  • n. a job in an organization
  • n. lodging for military personnel (especially in a private home)

Etymologies

Middle English, official register, from Old French billette, from bullette, diminutive of bulle, document, from Medieval Latin bulla, document, seal; see bill1.
Middle English, from Old French billette, diminutive of bille, log, from Vulgar Latin *bilia, possibly of Celtic origin.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English bylet. (Wiktionary)
Middle French billette ("schedule"), from bullette, diminutive form of bulle ("document"), from Medieval Latin bulla ("document"). (Wiktionary)
Old French billette, from bille ("log, tree trunk"), from Vulgar Latin *bilia, possible of Celtic origin (compare Old Irish oir ("tree")). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • But poetry — do you know how Vaughn Marlow makes his living? — teaching in a boys 'cramming-joint down in Pennsylvania, and of all private little hells such a billet is the limit.

    Chapter 32

  • - teaching in a boys 'cramming-joint down in Pennsylvania, and of all private little hells such a billet is the limit.

    Chapter 32

  • I know, I know, the Teheran embassy wasn’t built in a day, but it still seems like Ross’s would-be billet is an odd bureaucratic entity.

    Her Family And Friends Treated Him Like An Ambassador | ATTACKERMAN

  • No, you must play underhand with me, knowing that this billet was the one chance for me to get on my feet again.

    Bunches of Knuckles

  • Peter had asked to take the lead shortly before the accident occurred and Scott was giving him a billet -- a billet is a climbers way of securing another climber to the mountain in case of a fall.

    CNN Transcript May 19, 2004

  • My billet is a shelf space half a meter wide, half a meter deep, and just a trifle longer than I am-with other females brushing my elbows on each side of me.

    Podkayne Of Mars

  • The billet was a scrap on which was written only --

    The False Chevalier or, The Lifeguard of Marie Antoinette

  • Our billet is a village with shell-scarred trees lining its streets, and grass peeping over its fallen masonry, a few inn signs still swing and look like corpses hanging; at night they creak as if in agony.

    The Red Horizon

  • Behind our billet was the open country where Nature, the great mother, was busy; the butterflies flitted over the soldiers '(p. 262) graves, the grass grew over unburied dead men, who seemed to be sinking into the ground, apple trees threw out a wealth of blossom which the breezes flung broadcast to earth like young lives in the whirlwind of war.

    The Red Horizon

  • Our billet was a farm just on the edge of the village.

    Introduction to the Science of Sociology

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