General English


  • A team of people working in a restaurant, generally divided into the kitchen brigade and the restaurant brigade


  • noun a tactical army grouping of two or more battalions or regiments.
  • abbreviationBde


  • noun a group of people working together in a kitchen or restaurant

Origin & History of “brigade”

Brigade is one of a small set of words (others are brigand and brigantine) which go back to Italian briga ‘strife’. It is not clear where this came from; theories have centred either on a Celtic origin, comparing Old Irish brig ‘strength’, or on a derivation from the Indo-European base *bhreg-, which produced English break. Either way, the noun briga produced the verb brigare ‘contend, brawl’, from which in turn came the noun brigata. This originally meant simply ‘crowd or gang of people’, but soon developed the special sense ‘military company’. English acquired the word via French brigade. Meanwhile, the present participle of the Italian verb had given brigante, which English borrowed via Old French as brigand (14th c.), and the diminutive brigantino ‘fighting ship’, source of English brigantine (16th c.) (abbreviated in the 18th century to brig). Brigadier is a 17th-century adoption, from French.