brack·​et | \ ˈbra-kət How to pronounce bracket (audio) \

Definition of bracket

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an overhanging member that projects from a structure (such as a wall) and is usually designed to support a vertical load or to strengthen an angle
2 : a fixture (as for holding a lamp) projecting from a wall or column
3a : one of a pair of marks [ ] used in writing and printing to enclose matter or in mathematics and logic as signs of aggregation

called also square bracket

b : one of the pair of marks 〈 〉 used to enclose matter

called also angle bracket

4 : a section of a continuously numbered or graded series (such as age ranges or income levels)
5 : a pairing of opponents in an elimination tournament


bracketed; bracketing; brackets

Definition of bracket (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to place within or as if within brackets editorial comments are bracketed news stories bracketed by commercials
b : to eliminate from consideration bracket off politics
c : to extend around so as to encompass : include test pressures … which bracket virtually the entire range of passenger-car tire pressuresConsumer Reports
2 : to furnish or fasten with brackets
3 : to put in the same category or group bracketed in a tie for third
4a : to get the range on (a target) by firing over and short
b : to establish the limits of bracketed the problem neatly
c : to take photographs of at more than one exposure in order to ensure that the desired exposure is obtained

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Synonyms & Antonyms for bracket

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of bracket in a Sentence

Noun The shelf is held up with two brackets. There are wall brackets in the garage for the rakes and shovels. She is taller than average for her age bracket. He earned enough to put him in a higher tax bracket. She is now in a lower income bracket than before. Verb I wouldn't exactly bracket your paintings with those of Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Each one comes with its own wall bracket that can be set at different heights for different people. Chris Hachey, BGR, "Best Shower Shampoo Dispenser," 28 Apr. 2021 Before the 93rd Oscars telecast, the Academy's directing branch had nominated just five women in its competitive bracket since 1976, when Seven Beauties helmer Lina Wermüller blazed a trail as the category's first woman to be nominated. Joey Nolfi,, "Chloé Zhao shatters Oscars tradition as first woman of color to win Best Director," 26 Apr. 2021 That's because not all of your income gets taxed at your tax bracket. Erik Carter, Forbes, "How To Give Yourself A Tax Cut," 12 Apr. 2021 And our little fizzy bracket can't wait to see you next year. Rasputin Todd, The Enquirer, "Cincinnati's Favorite Beer 2021 winner is ...," 28 Mar. 2021 The chaos of March Madness is in full swing for many sports gamblers who leaned heavily on regional Big Ten teams to fill out their bracket or bet online. Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, "March Madness, sports betting in Michigan could bring tax surprise for gamblers," 24 Mar. 2021 College basketball writer Marcus Fuller has 16 of them for your bracket. Star Tribune, "March Madness guide: Follow the NCAA basketball tournament here," 19 Mar. 2021 Making selections in your March Madness bracket can be hard. Jordan Mendoza, USA TODAY, "From dinosaur eggs to on-campus nuclear reactors, one interesting fact about each NCAA Tournament school," 19 Mar. 2021 Don’t be scared to advance San Diego State in your bracket. David Dorman Vsin, Los Angeles Times, "Five potential Cinderella teams to watch in the NCAA tournament," 19 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Dallas was already an underdog entering the Call of Duty League winners bracket matchup. Sean Collins, Dallas News, "Dallas Empire forced into Major III losers bracket run, need more firepower after loss to Atlanta FaZe," 13 May 2021 The frames used to bracket history — and to place ourselves within it — are malleable. Washington Post, "We’re still living in the age of Napoleon," 7 May 2021 Though the role required Yeun to act in Korean, the skill demanded was not so much phonetic expressiveness as an ability to bracket each moment with an unvarying tone that reflects Ben’s muted insanity. Sheon Han, The New Yorker, "Steven Yeun’s Perfect Accent in “Minari”," 23 Apr. 2021 If this layer is volcanic ash from an eruption that preceded the Jezero lake, radioactive dates from it and the potential volcanic layer deposited on the lakebed should bracket the lake’s existence in time. Paul Voosen, Science | AAAS, "After dramatic landing, Mars rover will probe ancient lake for clues to planet’s wet past," 23 Feb. 2021 The Arizona Interscholastic Association on Saturday will re-seed and bracket the eight teams that advance to next week's state quarterfinals. Richard Obert, The Arizona Republic, "Breaking down 4A high school football play-in games: Who will advance to the final eight?," 19 Nov. 2020 In the case of the GAP 6mm GT, the goal is to strike a balance between the precision rifle cartridges that bracket it and address their shortcomings. John B. Snow, Outdoor Life, "The 6 GT Is a New Top Cartridge in the Precision Rifle World," 5 Oct. 2020 Linebacker Damien Wilson, unaffected by the run fake, looked to bracket Andrews with a safety’s help. Jonas Shaffer,, "Ravens film study: In a game of gambles, the Chiefs come out on top — again and again," 1 Oct. 2020 The more defenses try to bracket Hopkins with a cornerback and a safety, the more targets should be available for the rest of the Cardinals’ pass catchers such as Larry Fitzgerald, Christian Kirk, Andy Isabella, Dan Arnold and others. Bob Mcmanaman, The Arizona Republic, "Cardinals didn't dial up the deep pass very often against the 49ers, but it's coming," 17 Sep. 2020

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

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First Known Use of bracket


1574, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1836, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for bracket


perhaps from Middle French braguette codpiece, from diminutive of brague breeches, from Old Occitan braga, from Latin braca, of Celtic origin — more at breech

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Time Traveler for bracket

Time Traveler

The first known use of bracket was in 1574

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Statistics for bracket

Last Updated

15 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Bracket.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for bracket



English Language Learners Definition of bracket

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an object that is attached to a wall and used to support or hold up something (such as a shelf)
: a category that includes a certain range of incomes, ages, etc.
: either one of a pair of marks [ ] or 〈 〉 used to enclose words or mathematical symbols



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

: to place (words, symbols, etc.) within brackets
: to be located at each side of (something)
: to put (two or more people or things) into the same category, group, etc.


brack·​et | \ ˈbra-kət How to pronounce bracket (audio) \

Kids Definition of bracket

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a support for a weight (as a shelf) that is usually attached to a wall
2 : one of a pair of marks [ ] ( square brackets ) used to enclose letters or numbers or in mathematics to enclose items to be treated together
3 : one of a pair of marks 〈 〉 ( angle brackets ) used to enclose letters or numbers
4 : group entry 1 sense 1, category an age bracket


bracketed; bracketing

Kids Definition of bracket (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to place within brackets
2 : to put into the same class : group

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