Definition of brigade in US English:



  • 1A subdivision of an army, typically consisting of a small number of infantry battalions and/or other units and forming part of a division.

    ‘he commanded a brigade of 3,000 men’
    • ‘He has held key staff positions with troops at the battalion, brigade and division levels.’
    • ‘He has commanded airborne infantry units at the company, battalion, brigade and division levels.’
    • ‘The Army's traditional brigade, division, corps, and ASCC structure also is being reviewed.’
    • ‘We can't just do this because our battalion or our brigade or our division is out here fighting.’
    • ‘By 1921, Conner was a 47-year-old brigadier general preparing for his first command of an infantry brigade.’
    • ‘Small brigades force the Army to retain nearly all its division and corps structure.’
    • ‘This was necessary should the division go into combat side by side with conventional Army brigades and divisions.’
    • ‘The way ahead is light infantry and brigades and the larger army.’
    • ‘Six airborne-qualified light brigades would be similarly organized but with lighter vehicles.’
    • ‘Most Army National Guard maneuver brigades could also be assigned division lineages.’
    • ‘This will consist of three infantry battalions and a brigade headquarters that will remain based at An Numaniyah.’
    • ‘I was very impressed with the other battalion commanders in the brigade.’
    • ‘Reorganizing the Army to make the brigade the basic combat unit, however, begs the issue of adequate sustainment.’
    • ‘A disturbing trend involving named areas of interest continues to recur at the infantry battalions and brigades.’
    • ‘Two to five battalions form a brigade, which is commanded by a colonel and has from 3,000 to 5,000 soldiers.’
    • ‘The Army will soon have three distinct types of brigades, heavy, infantry, and Stryker.’
    • ‘When needed, the marines gather together enough battalions and brigades to form a division and that's that.’
    • ‘In time, Stryker brigades could replace two of the 1st Infantry Division's heavy brigades.’
    • ‘The second echelon was comprised of an armored division and a corps army aviation brigade.’
    • ‘This year, 24 of the Army's 33 active brigades were deployed for at least some period of time overseas.’
    unit, contingent, battalion, regiment, garrison, division, squadron, company, platoon, section, detachment, legion, corps, troop
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    1. 1.1 An organization with a specific purpose, typically with a military or quasi-military structure.
      ‘the local fire brigade’
      • ‘Reindeer became the property of collective farms, and herders were organized into brigades (working teams).’
      • ‘At the brigade level, logistics organizations, called support battalions, provide additional logistics.’
      • ‘Surprisingly, there was no police brigade around him; not even a personal gunman.’
      • ‘Pete Brown, the village fire chief, organized the all-girl brigade as men and teen-age boys drifted away.’
      • ‘‘You've performed exceptionally well with the brigade in your school,’ the sergeant continued.’
      • ‘We should have had the St John Ambulance brigade giving us tea and thermal blankets.’
      • ‘She stood up and walked around, and for the first time since she encountered the whole rescuing brigade, sang.’
      • ‘And we currently have teams of 50 or so working with each of the special police brigades.’
    2. 1.2informal, derogatory in singular A group of people with a common characteristic or dedicated to a common cause.
      ‘the anti-smoking brigade’
      • ‘The Blue-Rinse brigade came out in force for the sellout show.’
      • ‘Hearing was out of the question, due to the shrieks of the band's bobbysoxer brigade.’
      • ‘I'm sure the brown-suit brigade that runs the department told you it was their idea.’
      • ‘How the PC brigade is destroying our orchestras’
      • ‘Invariably the super size brigade will leap up and tell me that it's people like me that cause anorexia in girls.’
      • ‘The traffic-light sales brigade comes into action.’
      • ‘Every - every night he and his - he and his friends kind of organized a little brigade.’
      • ‘Thus at a more discursive level, the brigade aims to change public perceptions of menstruation.’
      • ‘When the complete brigade emerge in full drag from their dressing rooms, they look quite the motley crew.’
      • ‘It's Christmas time, and there is a need to be afraid: the sanctimonious charity brigade is back.’
      • ‘The tittle-tattle brigade is laughing all the way to the latest social do.’
      • ‘Yet, as consumers, this diaper-free brigade wields considerable financial clout.’
      • ‘But partly it's because people are terrified to take on the precautionary principle brigade.’
      • ‘At least, now the secretary brigade will have a new face to moon over.’
      • ‘No doubt he will be reviled by the race-relations brigade.’
      • ‘But character stands neglected in Bollywood's fear brigade.’
      • ‘The public scare resulted from technologies developed before the anti-GM foods brigade learned about them.’
      squad, team, group, band, party, body, crew, force, outfit, section
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[with object]rare
  • 1Form into a brigade.

    • ‘After periods of training, the 12th brigaded with the 13th, 14th and 16th Regiments.’
    • ‘Two divisions were sent to France, although one lacked artillery and was brigaded with the French.’
    • ‘The Army attaches battalions to brigade and for training purposes.’
    • ‘He was fascinated with the Volunteer Infantry, which was brigaded with his own.’
    • ‘During the changes during the spring of 1864, the 82nd was brigaded with the 26th Wisconsin.’
    1. 1.1 Associate with (someone or something)
      ‘they thought the speech too closely brigaded with illegal action’
      • ‘Conflict has been a banner behind which a large number of disparate discontents have been brigaded.’


Mid 17th century: from French, from Italian brigata ‘company’, from brigare ‘contend’, from briga ‘strife’.