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BREVET', noun [from breve.] In the French customs, the grant of a favor or donation from the king, or the warrant evidencing the grant; a warrant; a brief, or commission. More particularly, a commission given to a subaltern officer, written on parchment, without seal.

1. A commission to an officer which entitles him to a rank in the army above his pay. Thus a brevit major serves as a captain and received pay as such. Such commissions were given to the officers of the American Army at the close of the war, giving them a grade of rank above that which they had held during service.