\ ˈbrig How to pronounce brig (audio) \

Definition of brig

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: a 2-masted square-rigged ship

Definition of brig (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : a place (as on a ship) for temporary confinement of offenders in the U.S. Navy

Definition of brig (Entry 3 of 3)

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Illustration of brig

Noun (1)

In the meaning defined above

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Synonyms for brig

Synonyms: Noun (2)

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Did You Know?

A two-masted sailing ship with square rigging on both masts is called a brig. Brigs were both naval and merchant (mercantile) vessels. As merchantmen, they often followed coastal trading routes. However, ocean voyages were not uncommon, and some were even used for whaling and sealing. Naval brigs carried 10–20 guns on a single deck. In the 18th and 19th centuries, they served as couriers for battle fl eets and as training vessels for cadets. Brigs of the early US Navy won distinction on the Great Lakes in the War of 1812. Because square rigging required a large crew, merchant brigs became uneconomical, and in the 19th century they began to give way to vessels such as the schooner and the bark.

First Known Use of brig

Noun (1)

1712, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1832, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for brig

Noun (1)

short for brigantine

Noun (2)

probably from brig entry 1

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Cite this Entry

“Brig.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/brig. Accessed 7 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for brig


\ ˈbrig How to pronounce brig (audio) \

Kids Definition of brig

: a square-rigged sailing ship with two masts


\ ˈbrig How to pronounce brig (audio) \

Legal Definition of brig

1 : a place (as on a ship) for temporary confinement of offenders in the United States Navy
2 : a military prison

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More from Merriam-Webster on brig

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for brig

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with brig

Spanish Central: Translation of brig

Nglish: Translation of brig for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about brig

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