\ ˈbrās How to pronounce brace (audio) \
braced; bracing

Definition of brace

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : prepare, steel brace yourself for the shock
b : invigorate, freshen … I took the shower and it braced me up a bit.— Raymond Chandler
c : to prepare for use by making taut brace a drum
2a : to furnish or support with a brace (see brace entry 2 sense 1) heavily braced against the wind
b : to make stronger : reinforce nerves … braced by long familiarity with danger— T. B. Macaulay
3 : to put or plant firmly braces his foot in the stirrup
4 nautical : to turn (a sail yard) by means of a brace (see brace entry 2 sense 1e)
5 : to waylay especially with demands or questions : confront when braced, Willie had naturally denied his identityTime
6 archaic : to fasten tightly : bind

intransitive verb

1 : to get ready (as for an attack) brace for the storm
2 : to take heart used with up brace up and do something— Upton Sinclair


plural braces

Definition of brace (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : something that transmits, directs, resists, or supports weight or pressure: such as
a : a diagonal piece of structural material that serves to strengthen something (such as a framework) walls held up with braces
b medical : an appliance for supporting a body part has braces on his legs a neck brace
c braces plural, dentistry : an orthodontic appliance usually of metallic wire that is used especially to exert pressure to straighten misaligned teeth had braces as a teenager
d British braces plural, clothing : suspenders
e nautical : a rope rove through a block at the end of a ship's yard (see yard entry 4 sense 3) to swing it horizontally
2a : one of two marks { } used to connect words or items to be considered together
b music : one of these marks connecting two or more musical staffs (see staff entry 1 sense 3) carrying parts to be performed simultaneously
c : bracket sense 3a numbers written in braces
3 or plural brace : two of a kind : pair several brace of quail
4 : something (such as a clasp) that connects or fastens
5 : a crank-shaped instrument for turning a bit (see bit entry 1 sense 1a(2))
6 : a position of rigid attention on review, his uniform and brace were technically correctTime
7 : something that arouses energy or strengthens morale

Examples of brace in a Sentence

Verb He braced the gate with a piece of wood. Steel columns brace the structure. She braced herself with one hand and reached up with the other. Noun We need to add some sort of brace to hold the shelf in place. He could walk with braces on his legs. She wears a back brace. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Polling for the general election is still limited, but most forecasters expect the race to be close, especially as Democrats brace for a challenging midterm. Joe Walsh, Forbes, 3 Aug. 2022 As residents brace for more rainfall, Gov. Andy Beshear warns the torrential downpours may claim more lives. Camille C. Knox, CBS News, 29 July 2022 To help residents brace through the heat, Boston Mayor Michelle Wu announced that at least 12 community centers will open to anyone who wants to cool off. Aya Elamroussi, CNN, 21 July 2022 Apple is reportedly planning to slow hiring and spending for some of its teams as tech companies brace for a potential economic recession rise. Brett Molina, USA TODAY, 19 July 2022 The project, which cost $19 million and will take seven years to complete, is exactly what needs to be done to brace the sequoias against future fires. Kyle Dickman, Outside Online, 13 July 2022 BITCOIN Energy-hungry miners shut down by heat wave Nearly all industrial scale bitcoin miners in Texas have shut off their machines as the companies brace for a heat wave that is expected to push the state’s power grid near its breaking point., 12 July 2022 As marketers and their business partners brace for the months ahead, here are three things to know on how analysts expect things to pan out. Megan Graham, WSJ, 8 July 2022 Milwaukee residents opening their property assessment notices may need to brace themselves. Alison Dirr, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 20 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Enough for Diana Ordóñez to earn a brace with two headers from the center of the box. oregonlive, 5 Aug. 2022 His mom slips a padded neck brace on her husband and lifts him into a sitting position on their bed. Tom Murphy, San Diego Union-Tribune, 2 Aug. 2022 On TikTok, Alabama posted a picture of her holding his hand in a hospital bed, with hospital bands on both wrists and a black wrist brace on his left arm. Spin Staff, SPIN, 29 June 2022 Some travelers may find that the wraparound design feels more like a neck brace than a neck pillow. Mike Richard, Men's Health, 27 June 2022 Architect Lisa Botticelli included an X-brace detail as part of the faux open-stud treatment in the living room. Marni Elyse Katz,, 16 June 2022 Each banner is attached to a pole, but the 2017 banner appeared somehow to be pried off the brace holding it in place. Matt Young, Chron, 6 June 2022 At the hospital in Zaporizhzhia last week, Mr. Zadko carefully removed the brace around his wife’s abdomen. Vivian Salama, WSJ, 20 May 2022 The other leg corrected itself with the medical grade brace. Julie Watson, USA TODAY, 14 May 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'brace.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of brace


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 6


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4

History and Etymology for brace


Middle English, from Anglo-French bracer to embrace, from brace


Middle English, clasp, pair, from Anglo-French, pair of arms, pair, support, from Latin bracchia, plural of bracchium arm, from Greek brachiōn, from comparative of brachys short — more at brief

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The first known use of brace was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

11 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Brace.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for brace


\ ˈbrās How to pronounce brace (audio) \
braced; bracing

Kids Definition of brace

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to make strong, firm, or steady I stood up, bracing my body as well as I could against the wind.— Katherine Paterson, Jacob Have I Loved
2 : to get ready They braced for a storm.



Kids Definition of brace (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : something that adds strength or support a neck brace
2 braces plural : a usually wire device worn to correct the position of teeth
3 : one of a pair of marks { } used to connect words or items to be considered together
4 : two of a kind a brace of quail
5 : a tool with a U-shaped bend that is used to turn wood-boring bits


\ ˈbrās How to pronounce brace (audio) \

Medical Definition of brace

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an appliance that gives support to movable parts (as a joint or a fractured bone), to weak muscles (as in paralysis), or to strained ligaments (as of the lower back)
2 braces plural : an orthodontic appliance usually of metallic wire that is used especially to exert pressure to straighten misaligned teeth and that is not removable by the patient


transitive verb
braced; bracing

Medical Definition of brace (Entry 2 of 2)

: to furnish or support with a brace

More from Merriam-Webster on brace

Nglish: Translation of brace for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of brace for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about brace


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