charette (n.)

also charrette, c. 1400, "a chariot, a cart," from Old French charrete "wagon, small cart" (12c.), diminutive of charre, from Latin carrum, carrus "wagon" (see car).

Meaning "a concerted effort by concerned individuals to accomplish a given task by marathon work in a defined, short time" is attested by 1977, originally among architects, from French charette (by 1880s in this sense); it is said to be from the jargon of student architects hurrying to finish their models before they would have to be placed in the charrette which collected them for consideration.

updated on December 25, 2017