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The French military term vedette (formed from Latin videre, to see), also spelled vidette, migrated into English and other languages to refer to a mounted sentry or outpost, who has the function of bringing information, giving signals or warnings of danger, etc., to a main body of troops. In modern terms, the soldiers who man listening-posts are the equivalent of vedettes.
All around Salisbury Plain in southern England, the roads connecting the plain with the surrounding countryside feature a brick-built guard-post, manned by security officers whenever there is military activity beyond that point. They are known as vedettes, each being named for a local geographic feature.
Navies use the term vedette to refer to a small scouting or patrol boat.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press
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