a place, often in a private house, where soldiers live temporarily The troops are all in billets (= not in camps or barracks). Word Origin late Middle English (originally denoting a short written document): from Anglo-Norman French billette, diminutive of bille, probably based on medieval Latin bulla
‘seal, sealed document’. The verb is recorded in the late 16th cent., and the noun sense, ‘a written order requiring a householder to lodge the bearer, usually a soldier’, from the mid 17th cent.; hence the current meaning.