Ban"ner*et(), n.[OE. baneret, OF. baneret, F. banneret; properly a dim. of OF. baniere. See Banner.]
1. Originally, a knight who led his vassals into the field under his own banner; -- commonly used as a title of rank.
2. A title of rank, conferred for heroic deeds, and hence, an order of knighthood; also, the person bearing such title or rank.
The usual mode of conferring the rank on the field of battle was by cutting or tearing off the point of the pennon or pointed flag on the spear of the candidate, thereby making it a banner.
3. A civil officer in some Swiss cantons.
4. A small banner.
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