Main definitions of billet in English

: billet1billet2

billet1

noun

  • 1A place, especially a civilian's house, where soldiers are lodged temporarily:

    ‘the sergeant gave them leave to rest while officers went in search of billets’
    • ‘Highpoint North consists of three H-shaped airmen's billets, each housing 69 women in single and shared rooms and inmates have their own keys.’
    • ‘These upgrading works included the installation of fire alarms, ceiling repairs, electrical rewiring, heating, fire doors, shower, ablutions in the billet block and some tarmacadam.’
    • ‘We were issued with candles, which we used in the dug outs of the billets because our billets consisted of barns, cowsheds, pig sties and places like that.’
    • ‘This allows more soldiers to serve in operational billets and makes the DA civilian contribution even more integral to mission accomplishment.’
    • ‘There have been several improvements to the brigade's billets, dining facility, an improved Lightning University facility, and many enhancements to the brigade's Gym 3.’
    • ‘During the Second World War the building became a billet for soldiers.’
    • ‘It was used as a billet for troops in the Second World War and was demolished in 1947.’
    • ‘When the 167th prepared to vacate its billets in April 1919, the section inspector wrote that the regiment left the area ‘in very satisfactory condition.’’
    • ‘Even soldiers who sought to behave well in billets were not immune from gaffes.’
    • ‘Fairfax House had survived a chequered 20th century history which had seen it used as a cinema, ballroom, soldiers' billet, coal rationing office and bicycle shed.’
    • ‘Republican troops were ordered to cease provocative operations and withdraw from billets into camps, while peace feelers were sent out to identifiable guerrilla leaders - Stofflet and Charette in the Vendée, Puisaye in Brittany.’
    • ‘After the Glorious Revolution, the law was modified: ordinary citizens were not required to find billets, but innkeepers were obliged to accept troops and a scale of charges laid down.’
    • ‘Built to protect the Solent from French invaders as part of a system of forts, it had a billet for 150 soldiers, is built almost entirely of granite blocks and measures 162 ft across.’
    • ‘The billets for these Russian soldiers were at No.6 the Bund, previously the P&O Banking Corp (now the Yangtze River Navigation Co building).’
    • ‘It was felt, however, that keeping American soldiers out of German billets, which had not been done after World War One, would serve as a necessary corrective.’
    • ‘‘People can use the kits on an airplane, in their billets - wherever they happen to be,’ Sargeant said.’
    • ‘The others planted thousands of death charges around the soldier billets and many defence turrets.’
    • ‘The majority of facilities at K - 2 are tents, which are slowly being replaced by dorm-style billets.’
    • ‘For my own part, I welcome the change which puts women in seagoing postings: it's about time they shouldered their share of seagoing duties… instead of sitting around in comfortable shore billets at home.’
    living quarters, quarters, rooms
    accommodation, lodging, housing
    barracks, cantonment
    casern
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1informal A place to stop or stay:
      ‘the young people's stay at each of their billets was short’
      • ‘I don't actually have an apartment, I just sublet or billet or crash on someone's couch.’
      • ‘After that, we will begin the process of finding billets for them.’
      • ‘I'd have preferred a cot until they got us semipermanent billets to stay in; at least cots can be sprayed with Lysol.’
      • ‘Moves within the scouting movement mean that future scouts and guides are more likely to stay in hotel style billets than traditional tents.’
      • ‘He had meant to stay the night and had been given a billet, but something drew him on - we all have choices.’
      • ‘Dismayed by excessive rail freights on material inputs, several Midland firms chose to forfeit their established inland sites and relocate to the coast where cheap steel billets were available.’
      • ‘Each night, we untack, groom, feed and turn out our horses in a borrowed field before retiring to our own warm B&B billet.’
      • ‘I went 72 hours without sleep at one stage - when we got back to the billet you never thought straw and brick would be so comfortable.’
      • ‘In 2003, Tranfield came to Salt Lake only to spend the week in bed at her billet's house.’
      • ‘I got into my billets' place and slept most of the afternoon.’
      • ‘He had contacted BBC Wiltshire to try to find his temporary billet, which he only knew was called Dial House.’
      • ‘It was of a piece with the rest of the house; spare and orderly; the billet of a military man of spartan tastes and limited finances.’
      • ‘Paul thinks of Detering, who spotted a cherry tree in full bloom near their billets and picked a few blossoms.’
      • ‘Although this great land spawned Rupert Murdoch, the choice of television channel is extremely limited, or at least it is in my billet.’

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1 Lodge (soldiers) in a particular place, especially a civilian's house:

    ‘most of the army was billeted within the town’
    • ‘Officers were billeted in the Polygon Hotel, and the men at Blighmont Barracks in Millbrook Road.’
    • ‘His regiment, rested after the defeat at Corunna and restored by almost four years of home duty, was billeted in a town near Palencia; he, wounded in some minor skirmish, in the home of a local grandee.’
    • ‘Built in 1852 to house an orange grove, with a glass façade facing south across the Seine, the Orangerie was used to billet soldiers on leave from the trenches during the First World War.’
    • ‘My fellow soldiers and I were billeted in an apartment house in Aubervilliers, which had until a day or so before been home to a company of German WACS.’
    • ‘There are sympathetic descriptions of some of the local people - Dutch and German - on whom the soldiers were billeted.’
    • ‘A brutal military terror in which thousands died was followed up by billeting the soldiers on the better-off citizens of the provincial capitals, while their sovereign courts were exiled to remote small towns.’
    • ‘There are no signs that an army is billeted anywhere in Freelander.’
    • ‘We want to make sure we increase the safety in the Army, and we want to make sure that we looked at billeting for the soldiers.’
    • ‘But completion was stymied for 22 years by Charles Edward Stuart who billeted his army in the city on his way from Derby to Culloden.’
    • ‘So he needed to billet a large army on his people in preparation for the feared invasion and raise a Danegeld to pay for it.’
    • ‘Rita stopped at the house where she was billeted.’
    • ‘I mused that in its heyday it must have been even more extraordinary - there are more than a quarter-of-a-million square feet filled with vast reception rooms, temples, baths and a barracks large enough to billet an entire army.’
    • ‘For much of European history barracks were the exception rather than the rule, and soldiers were billeted in civilian lodgings or public houses.’
    • ‘The soldiers were then billeted in Minsk in the Ukraine.’
    • ‘During the Second World War troops of the Duke of Wellington's Regiment were billeted in the hall.’
    • ‘There Alistair met his first Americans - seven young soldiers billeted in his house and made Alfred their mascot.’
    • ‘The troops in these colonies were, at first, veteran soldiers, and were billeted on householders who were chosen from men of good character aged from 18 to 45 years.’
    • ‘I think one of the points in the Declaration of Independence of the United States was a complaint against King George that he had required people to billet soldiers in their properties.’
    • ‘How could he have known when he had left Kassel that there would be soldiers billeted in our house, or that we would have to flee?’
    • ‘Castle Grant in Aberdeenshire sold for just £700,000 earlier this year, still bearing the very visible scars of having had Indian soldiers billeted there during the 1940s.’
    accommodate, quarter, put up, lodge, house
    station, garrison
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Assign temporary accommodation to:
      ‘the American team was billeted at Uxbridge’
      • ‘We were billeted out privately, although some were in Hamer's Commercial Hotel.’
      • ‘They had traveled by train through blacked-out stations to an old mansion in the countryside where they were to be billeted with hundreds of other children.’
      • ‘A soldier, Private John Scofield, billeted at a nearby inn wandered into Blake's garden and words were exchanged.’
      • ‘He was billeted with a family in New Jersey, and began to work, ‘everything from cleaning toilets to working in a restaurant.’’
      • ‘In 1940, as a 12-year-old girl, I arrived one dark October evening with about 200 other girls, to be billeted around the town, where we stayed for three years.’
      • ‘I was billeted in a guest house in a spa-village in winter.’
      • ‘But billeting system is that it breeds discontent among the hosted.’
      • ‘Seventeen families are assisting with billeting the 13 adults and two children.’
      • ‘Myself and one of the four others on this tour are billeted with a young Christian family.’
      • ‘He was billeted at her home where her seven brothers had hitherto protected her from any approach by potential suitors.’
      • ‘Throughout the country we were billeted out to families and enjoyed their considerable hospitality.’
      • ‘The backpackers ‘Dorset House’ opened in January 1999 and billeted the first paying customer after only six weeks of work.’
      • ‘One great example is billeting, otherwise known as the act of offering accommodation to visiting sports players and accepting it for your own on long trips away from the Alice.’
      • ‘With every hotel and motel booked out for the weekend, around 500 Townsville households have offered to billet out of town visitors to the game.’
      • ‘I wish to publicise that I would be willing to billet some of the Tampa refugees in my own house until their fate is determined.’
      • ‘We were billeted in a hotel which had no visitors because of the war conditions.’
      • ‘I had hooked up with the Quebec people on Tuesday morning because I lived near the church they were billeted in.’
      • ‘Most of the 225,000 refugees that flooded into the country of 1.5 million people, however, didn't stay in refugee camps but were billeted with local families.’
      • ‘Rene got the local college King William to provide the venue, billeted the participants with local players, and found an excellent sponsor to provide the generous prize fund and travel costs of the players.’
      • ‘Student Exchange Coordinator Colleen Virtue said the students are billeted locally and are all very keen to be introduced to Australian culture during their week long visit to the Northern Rivers.’
      • ‘And residents have billeted their homes to accommodate the overspill.’
      • ‘This has entailed our giving him board and lodging temporarily while his wife and children are billeted on friends.’
      • ‘If you come to Tobago with one of the large operators, you'll probably be billeted in one of three beachfront hotels in the southwest corner: the Grand Courlan, Grafton Beach or Rex Turtle Beach.’
      • ‘While family and friends and the fellow athletes who didn't stay in the village were billeted out in some of the region's finest homes, the five curlers were perfectly at home in the modest house they rented.’
      • ‘Sources say it was written on the stationery of the Zamboanga hotel in which the negotiating party was billeted.’
      • ‘Even worse, the hotels in which our scribes were billeted were deemed ‘puny’.’
      • ‘One very interesting aspect of the hotel in which the journalists were billeted in Peshawar was the fact that it was the only hotel in the entire country where one could obtain a drink.’
      • ‘We were billeted in a farm - where there was an orchard but the fruit was not ripe which was lucky for the French.’
      • ‘Made up mostly of U.S. Customs art-theft experts, the American team has been billeted inside the museum complex since late April.’
      • ‘Conference participants who are LWHA to be billeted at the hotel have been asked to stay in separate rooms and take their meals apart from other guests.’
      • ‘As befits the largest nation in the region, China has sent one of the biggest delegations and the most journalists, many of whom have been billeted in hotels along Haeundae Beach.’
      • ‘As we were going to be billeted I carried a heavy pack.’
      • ‘The Merry Mex and his entourage had been billeted in Yester House and, out of deference to the American visitors, the newly installed central heating had been turned up full blast.’
      • ‘From the airport, Estrada and his wife were whisked to the guest house where he was billeted to get ready for the series of meetings with APEC and Association of Southeast Asian Nations leaders.’
      • ‘I've never been billeted in my life before, not even on school trips.’
      • ‘‘Two years ago in London, I was billeted at a frat house,’ he says.’
      • ‘The oddest derivation of all is perhaps Plymouth Argyle, chosen because the two young men who started the club were impressed with the footballing prowess of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, who were billeted in the town.’
      • ‘Our friend was billeted in one of the nearby houses.’
      • ‘While the Mayor was busy talking with other dignitaries, the young people were billeted with Japanese families.’

Origin

Late Middle English (originally denoting a short written document): from Anglo-Norman French billette, diminutive of bille (see bill). The verb is recorded in the late 16th century, and the noun sense, ‘a written order requiring a householder to lodge the bearer, usually a soldier’, from the mid 17th century; hence the current meaning.

Pronunciation:

billet

/ˈbɪlɪt/

Main definitions of billet in English

: billet1billet2

billet2

noun

  • 1A thick piece of wood.

    • ‘Peasants in the central part of the country were the most active producers of tar and pitch from resinous pine billets, while the main production areas gradually moved from the west coast towards the east and northeast.’
    • ‘They scoop up the fallen cane stalks, cut them into sections called billets as they pass through the machine, and drop the billets into a wagon traveling alongside for eventual transport to the factory for processing.’
    • ‘Here is a billet of wood, the circumference of which is about that of the throat.’
    • ‘Because they favor smaller barrels, their bats are made from a heavier billet - the cylindrical piece of wood from which a bat is shaped.’
    • ‘Quickly she picked up all the wood and started to make up some more billets, hoping the the noise would indicate to him that she was busy.’
    • ‘Tucker refused the original proposal to buy the European company's bats, instead working out a deal in which Louisville Slugger buys billets of wood and makes its own product.’
    • ‘Here at the factory that makes the famous Louisville Slugger bat, three techniques are used to turn Northern white ash billets into baseball bats.’
    1. 1.1 A small bar of metal for further processing.
      • ‘Tubular wire production method provides versatility of composition and is not limited to the analysis of available steel billets.’
      • ‘Bill Enxing of Cardinal Metals stepped forward and created the forged steel billets.’
      • ‘I well remember once at the factory when I picked up a billet of the lead alloy used for the cores and struck it with a hammer.’
      • ‘With a solid billet the billet is pierced by the mandrel as the ram is set in motion.’
      • ‘They were loaded with hot billets from #16 open hearth caster, #3 Bloom & Billet Mill or #3 Conditioning.’
      • ‘A record of the old hand processes of shaping a steel square section bar from the original billet taken from the furnace and thence to the yard where material was stored and transported by magnetic crane.’
      • ‘The forgings were produced from 6-in.-diameter billets broken down from an 18-in.-diameter ingot.’
      • ‘Hot-finished bar is commonly produced by hot rolling, forging, or pressing ingots to blooms or billets of intermediate size, which are subsequently hot rolled, forged, or extruded to final dimensions.’
      • ‘None of the patterning is really visible until the billet is cut and polished a bit, but the process means that no two parts will look the same.’
      • ‘Unique to the U - 2 is that the main wing planks are milled from large single billets of metal, rather than built up of riveted sheet metal, I-beams and U-channels.’
      • ‘When extrusions of the highest quality are required, as in strong alloy aircraft parts, extrusion billets may be scalped before shipment to remove surface liquation.’
      • ‘Cast billet can be hot forged, extruded, or machined, and castings can be produced by a variety of foundry techniques.’
      • ‘This is certainly a two man job, because one is controlling the tongs with the billets in, and places it on the anvil, whilst the other hits it smartly before the work has a chance to cool at all.’
      • ‘Extrusion: In this process a cylinder or billet of metal is forced through an orifice by means of a ram to such effect that the elongated and extruded metal has a transverse shape which is that of the die orifice.’
      • ‘These steels are available in sheet, forging billets, bars, strip, and plate.’
      • ‘These billet metering blocks also feature idle-mixture control screws on all four corners to provide maximum adjustability of the idle circuit.’
      • ‘Its five major products are fibre-optic faceplates, inverters, tapers, inverter billets and taper billets.’
      • ‘The consumable electrodes are generally forged billets, wrought revert material, or selected foundry returns, the extra processing of which tends to increase the cost of the raw material.’
      • ‘The Colonian was huge and carried steel shells destined for the Somme battlefield in northern France, as well as copper ingots, brass fuses, ball-bearings and steel billets (massive hunks of metal).’
      • ‘These advances are due chiefly to the sculpted air entries, the concentric and ridge-free venturi, and the emulsifying process that takes place in the billet metering blocks.’
  • 2Architecture
    Each of a series of short cylindrical pieces inserted at intervals in Norman decorative mouldings.

    • ‘A billet-moulding surrounds each arch, which has a plain rib in the soffit.’
    • ‘The nine windows extending out from the roof directly below the ridge recalled the roof billets perched on the roof of the main sanctuary and certain subsidiary buildings at Ise Shrine.’
    • ‘The facing of it, or architrave, was often ornamented with the zig-zag, billet, and other mouldings.’
    • ‘But he introduced a second order and billet mould into his arches, not found at St. John's, both marked characteristics of the first quarter of the twelfth century in England.’
    • ‘Billet moulding, a series of little rolls like a dotted line, and chevron, or zigzag moulding were widely used.’
    • ‘One of the unusual features of St. Bart's is that the billet moulding around the arches is continuous around the entire apse, rather than terminated at the capitals of the arches.’
  • 3Heraldry
    A rectangle placed vertically as a charge.

    • ‘Period armory seems to have considered the billet equivalent to the delf and no difference is granted between them in Society heraldry.’
    • ‘The billet or rectangle represents the grant of land on which the parish was built in 1845’
    • ‘The Billet is a small elongated rectangular figure supposed to represent a billet or letter, and to some, a brick.’
    • ‘The smaller shapes like the roundel and billet are called sub-ordinaries.’
    • ‘The billet is a rectangular block, much the shape of a house brick.’

Origin

Late Middle English: from Old French billette and billot, diminutives of bille tree trunk, from medieval Latin billa, billus branch, trunk, probably of Celtic origin.

Pronunciation:

billet

/ˈbɪlɪt/