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brigadier Line breaks: brig|ad¦ier
Pronunciation: /brɪɡəˈdɪə/

Definition of brigadier in English:


A rank of officer in the British army, above colonel and below major general.
Example sentences
  • The senior officers - generals, brigadiers, colonels - were all at a loss about what to do.
  • The brigadier said it was a good opportunity for the kids to have a break from their normal everyday environment.
  • I am a brigadier in command of the brigade of King Ian's army that defends this territory.


Late 17th century: from French (see brigade, -ier).

  • The high-ranking and no doubt respectable brigadier and the lawless brigand are related. Both words go back to Italian brigare ‘to contend, strive’. This gave brigata ‘a troop, company’, from which French took brigade and which English adopted as brigade in the mid 17th century. French brigade also gave us brigadier. Brigand has been around since the late Middle Ages. It came through French from Italian brigante ‘foot soldier’, which is formed from brigare. Originally a brigand could be a lightly armed irregular foot soldier, but this use was rare after the 16th century and finally died out.

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