a. A military unit consisting of a variable number of combat battalions or regiments.
b. A US Army administrative and tactical unit composed of a headquarters unit, at least one unit of infantry or armor or both, and designated support units. A brigade can be commanded by a brigadier general or by a colonel.
2. A group of persons organized for a specific purpose: formed a bucket brigade to carry water to the fire.
tr.v. bri·gad·ed, bri·gad·ing, bri·gades
To form into a brigade.
[French, from Old French, company, from Old Italian brigata, from brigare, to fight, from briga, strife, of Celtic origin; see gwerə-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
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.