Ban"ner*et (&?;), n. [OE. baneret, OF.
baneret, F. banneret; properly a dim. of OF. baniere.
1. Originally, a knight who led his vassals into
the field under his own banner; -- commonly used as a title of
2. A title of rank, conferred for heroic deeds, and
hence, an order of knighthood; also, the person bearing such title or
&fist; 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. Shak.