noun \ˈbras\

: a yellow metal that is made by combining copper and zinc

: musical instruments (such as trumpets, trombones, and tubas) that are made of brass

: bright metal objects made of brass

Full Definition of BRASS

:  an alloy consisting essentially of copper and zinc in variable proportions
a :  the brass instruments of an orchestra or band —often used in plural
b :  a usually brass memorial tablet
c :  bright metal fittings, utensils, or ornaments
d :  empty cartridge shells
:  brazen self-assurance :  gall
singular or plural in construction
a :  high-ranking members of the military
b :  persons in high positions (as in a business or the government)
brass adjective

Examples of BRASS

  1. a candlestick made of brass
  2. The whole orchestra—the strings, percussion, woodwinds, and brass—began to play.
  3. The brasses began to play.
  4. polishing the brass and the silver

Origin of BRASS

Middle English bras, from Old English bræs; akin to Middle Low German bras metal
First Known Use: before 12th century

Other Metals and Metallurgy Terms

assay, bloom, bullion, ductile, ingot, malleable, patina, plate, temper, tensile


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Alloy of copper and zinc, important for its hardness and workability. Brass was first used c. 1200 BC in the Near East, then extensively in China after 220 BC, and soon thereafter by the Romans. In ancient documents, including the Bible, the term brass is often used to denote bronze (copper/tin alloy). The malleability of brass depends on its zinc content; brasses with more than 45% zinc are not workable. Alpha brasses contain less than 40% zinc; beta brasses (40–45% zinc) are less ductile than alpha brasses but stronger. A third group includes brasses with additional elements. Among these are lead brasses, which are more easily machined; naval and admiralty brasses, in which a small amount of tin improves resistance to corrosion by seawater; and aluminum brasses, which provide strength and corrosion resistance where the naval brasses may fail.


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