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Aug 19, 2011
This week's theme
Words that have many unrelated meanings

This week's words
coronary
fugue
marrow
talus
billet

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

billet

PRONUNCIATION:
(BIL-it)

MEANING:
verb tr., intr.:
1. To lodge or to be quartered.
noun:
2. A civilian place (as a private home) where soldiers are lodged temporarily.
3. An official order directing someone to provide lodging for soldiers.
4. A short letter or a note.
5. A job appointment.
6. A chunk of wood, suitable for fuel.
7. A metal bar or ingot.

ETYMOLOGY:
For 1-5: From Anglo-Norman billette, diminutive of bille (bill), from Latin bulla (seal, sealed document), from bubble (amulet). Earliest documented use: around 1440. Note: The letter or note sense of the word billet is apparent in the French term for a love letter: billet-doux (literally, sweet note).
For 6-7: From Old French billette/billot, diminutives of bille (tree trunk), from Latin billa/billus (branch, trunk). Earliest documented use: around 1440.

USAGE:
"We were billeted at the Plaza del Norte Hotel."
Millie and Karla Reyes; Land of Bagnet; The Philippine Star (Manila); Aug 4, 2011.

"Highlighting brisk steel demand, the price of steel billet in northern China rose to as high as 4,520 yuan per tonne."
Iron Ore-Price for Indian Cargoes Rises; Reuters News; Aug 1, 2011.

See more usage examples of billet in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

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