brevet (n.) Look up brevet at
mid-14c., from Old French brievet "letter, note, piece of paper; papal indulgence" (13c.), diminutive of bref "letter, note" (see brief (n.)). Military sense of "a commission to a higher rank without advance in command" (for meritorious service, etc.) is from 1680s.
brevet (v.) Look up brevet at
"confer brevet rank upon," 1803, from French breveter, from brevet (see brevet (n.)). Related: Breveted; breveting.