1. A two-masted sailing vessel, square-rigged on both masts.
2. A jail or prison on board a US Navy or Coast Guard vessel.
3. A jail or guardhouse, especially on the premises of a US military installation.
[Short for BRIGANTINE. Senses 2 and 3, from the use of ships as prisons.]
(click for a larger image)brig
replica of the 1857 brig
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.