brace

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

Definition of brace

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

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

intransitive verb

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

brace

noun
plural braces

Definition of brace (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : something (such as a clasp) that connects or fastens
2 or plural brace : two of a kind : pair several brace of quail
3 : a crank-shaped instrument for turning a bit (see bit entry 1 sense 1a(2))
4 : 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 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
c braces plural, clothing : suspenders
d medical : an appliance for supporting a body part has braces on his legs a neck brace
e 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
5a : 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
6 : a position of rigid attention on review, his uniform and brace were technically correctTime
7 : something that arouses energy or strengthens morale

Keep scrolling for more

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

The Sandlers weathered bracing criticism for what detractors cast as lending practices that helped bring down Wachovia, which in 2008 was sold to Wells Fargo. Washington Post, "Herbert Sandler, S&L magnate who also seeded ProPublica, dies at 87," 6 June 2019 In a business full of aggressive salesmen, Mr. Neff’s tone often took on a bracing humility. Joseph N. Distefano, https://www.inquirer.com, "Brilliant stock picker John Neff, who ran Vanguard’s Windsor Fund and built Penn’s endowment, dies at 87," 5 June 2019 On South Stacy Boulevard overlooking the entrance to Gloucester Harbor stands the famous statue of a fisherman, braced at the wheel of his vessel against a storm. James R. Carroll, USA TODAY, "Cape Ann, Massachusetts: A charming alternative to Cape Cod with sandy beaches and fried clams," 3 June 2019 Carbon bracing in the tunnel and carbon-fiber braces in the engine bay also contribute torsional stiffness, always a concern in convertibles. Andrew Wendler, Car and Driver, "The 2020 Mercedes-AMG GT R Roadster Costs Almost $27,000 More than the Coupe," 30 May 2019 With Campari as its main ingredient, the Clint is a bracing tipple along the lines of a Negroni—but the best part about the Clint may be the story behind it. David Netto, Town & Country, "Jackie Kennedy's Favorite Cocktail Was a Negroni (With a Twist)," 14 May 2019 This is a core move, so focus on keeping your lower body more stable, and bracing your core to rotate with the weight. SELF, "Final Strength Push, Plus 4-Minute Finisher," 28 Apr. 2019 Trump’s advisers are scrambling to build an exit ramp while also bracing for the shutdown to last weeks longer. Seung-min Kim, The Seattle Times, "Inside Trump’s defiance on the longest shutdown ever," 13 Jan. 2019 Now bank officials, facing fresh investor doubts about the lender’s ailing investment bank and overall strategy, are bracing for a barrage of criticism from shareholders at the bank’s annual meeting Thursday in Frankfurt. Jenny Strasburg, WSJ, "Deutsche Bank Shares Hit All-Time Low," 20 May 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Stanford braces for a Super Regional showdown at Mississippi State. oregonlive.com, "Oregon State baseball coaching search includes three OSU assistants: Diamonds & Dust," 8 June 2019 Even so, the robust serenity of the original design endures in the methodical curve of the X-braces, rooted and functionally regal all at once. John King, SFChronicle.com, "A look at why pro basketball and Oracle Arena were a perfect fit," 7 June 2019 The Defense Department has also been reviewing a number of military bases to find a location that can house up to 5,000 unaccompanied migrant children as the U.S. braces for a surge of people crossing the U.S.-Mexico border this spring. Colleen Long, The Seattle Times, "Trump ‘strongly looking’ at releasing migrants in Dem cities," 13 Apr. 2019 As North Carolina braces for Hurricane Florence, some tourists and residents are worried about the famous wild horses that roam the Outer Banks. Madeline Farber, Fox News, "Hurricane Florence shouldn't hurt North Carolina's wild horse population, wildlife experts say," 12 Sep. 2018 But why is there no strut tower brace in the first place? Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "With the 2020 GR Supra, Toyota Gets In Touch With Its Fun Side," 12 May 2019 The daughter of two British ex-pats—a former modern dancer and an electrician at MGM—Verdon developed rickets as a child, forcing her to wear corrective boots and braces to straighten her legs. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "The True Story of Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon's Relationship," 17 Apr. 2019 If your gums are receding, that might be due to long-term aggressive brushing and, in some cases, having braces. Sarah Jacoby, SELF, "What to Know Before, During, and After Your Gum Graft Surgery," 11 Mar. 2019 Alex Fenkell, who had braces and attended Cranbrook in Bloomfield Hills, and Jordan Katzman, who attended Groves High School in Beverly Hills, met at age 13 at summer camp. Frank Witsil, Detroit Free Press, "Think DIY braces will fix your smile? Startup says yes; orthodontists say think again," 23 Feb. 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of brace

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for brace

Verb

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

Noun

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about brace

Statistics for brace

Last Updated

12 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for brace

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for brace

brace

verb

English Language Learners Definition of brace

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to get ready for something difficult or unpleasant
: to give added physical support or strength to (something)
: to support (yourself) by leaning against something or holding something

brace

noun

English Language Learners Definition of brace (Entry 2 of 2)

: a part that adds physical strength or support
: a device that supports a part of the body
: a device that is attached to teeth to make them straight

brace

verb
\ 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.

brace

noun

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

brace

noun
\ 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
braced; bracing

Medical Definition of brace (Entry 2 of 2)

: to furnish or support with a brace

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on brace

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with brace

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for brace

Spanish Central: Translation of brace

Nglish: Translation of brace for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of brace for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about brace

Comments on brace

What made you want to look up brace? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a tendency to relapse

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!