noun, plural bil·lies.

  1. Also called billy club. a police officer’s club or baton.
  2. a heavy wooden stick used as a weapon; cudgel.
  3. Scot. Dialect. comrade.
  4. Also called bil·ly·can [bil-ee-kan] /ˈbɪl iˌkæn/. Australian. any container in which water may be carried and boiled over a campfire, ranging from a makeshift tin can to a special earthenware kettle; any pot or kettle in which tea is boiled over a campfire.
  5. Textiles. (in Great Britain) a roving machine.

noun plural -lies

  1. US and Canadian a wooden club esp a police officer’s truncheon

noun plural -lies or -lycans

  1. a metal can or pot for boiling water, etc, over a campfire
  2. Australian and NZ (as modifier)billy-tea
  3. Australian and NZ informal to make tea

“club,” 1848, American English, originally burglars’ slang for “crowbar;” meaning “policeman’s club” first recorded 1856, probably from nickname of William, applied to various objects (cf. jack, jimmy, jenny).

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