1. lodging for a soldier, student, etc., as in a private home or nonmilitary public building.
  2. Military. an official order, written or verbal, directing the person to whom it is addressed to provide such lodging.
  3. a place assigned, as a bunk, berth, or the like, to a member of a ship’s crew.
  4. job; position; appointment.
  5. Archaic. a written note, short letter, or the like.

verb (used with object), bil·let·ed, bil·let·ing.

  1. Military. to direct (a soldier) by ticket, note, or verbal order, where to lodge.
  2. to provide lodging for; quarter: We arranged with the townspeople to billet the students.

verb (used without object), bil·let·ed, bil·let·ing.

  1. to obtain lodging; stay: They billeted in youth hostels.


  1. a small chunk of wood; a short section of a log, especially one cut for fuel.
  2. Metalworking. a comparatively narrow, generally square, bar of steel, especially one rolled or forged from an ingot; a narrow bloom.
  3. an iron or steel slab upon concrete, serving as a footing to a column.
  4. Architecture. any of a series of closely spaced cylindrical objects, often in several rows, used as ornaments in a hollow molding or cornice.
  5. a strap that passes through a buckle, as to connect the ends of a girth.
  6. a pocket or loop for securing the end of a strap that has been buckled.
  7. thumbpiece.
  8. Heraldry. a small, rectangular figure with the longer sides generally vertical, said to represent a block of wood.


  1. accommodation, esp for a soldier, in civilian lodgings
  2. the official requisition for such lodgings
  3. a space or berth allocated, esp for slinging a hammock, in a ship
  4. informal a job
  5. archaic a brief letter or document

verb -lets, -leting or -leted

  1. (tr) to assign a lodging to (a soldier)
  2. (tr) informal to assign to a post or job
  3. to lodge or be lodged


  1. a chunk of wood, esp for fuel
  2. metallurgy
    1. a metal bar of square or circular cross section
    2. an ingot cast into the shape of a prism
  3. architect a carved ornament in a moulding, with short cylinders or blocks evenly spaced

1590s, “to assign quarters to,” earlier, as a noun, “official record or register” (Middle English), from Anglo-French billette “list, schedule,” diminutive of bille (see bill (n.1)). Related: Billeted; billeting.


thick stick of wood, mid-15c., from Middle French billette, diminutive of bille “stick of wood” (see billiards).


“document, note;” see billet-doux.

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