brack·et | \ˈbra-kət \

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

c : parenthesis sense 3

d : brace sense 5b

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

category, class, classification, division, family, genus, grade, group, kind, league, order, rank(s), rubric, set, species, tier, type

Synonyms: Verb

assimilate, compare, equate, liken

Antonyms: Verb


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Examples of bracket in a Sentence


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.


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

With a loss the Jazz, the Magic would play only one more summer league game — a consolation-bracket game late Friday afternoon in Las Vegas — bringing the Magic’s total of summer league games up to five. Josh Robbins,, "Magic will hold Mo Bamba, Jonathan Isaac out from Thursday's game," 13 July 2018 The survivor of that last loser’s bracket game will clinch the second South Zone Tournament berth. Robert Avery, Houston Chronicle, "Mustang all-stars open Coast Region play against Vidor squad," 4 July 2018 All will lip sync for their lives in a bracket-style battle before RuPaul crowns a winner. Dave Quinn,, "RuPaul's Drag Race Season 1 Queens Join Season 10 Cast for Epic Finale Lip Sync," 28 June 2018 Once all 16 in the round of 16 are in place, the competition pivots to single elimination, bracket style, like March Madness., "A Guide to the World Cup When You Know Nothing About Soccer," 26 June 2018 Players and teams advance or are eliminated in a bracket-style competition. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "Everything You Need to Know About Wimbledon 2018—Including How to Watch," 21 June 2018 The Friday schedule will be pool-play games and the Saturday games will be bracket games. Indianapolis Star, "Charlie Hughes Shootout set for Friday, Saturday at three area sites," 15 June 2018 Fans will vote for their favorite in a bracket-style tournament consisting of three rounds on MTV's Instagram Stories. Kimberly Nordyke, The Hollywood Reporter, "MTV Movie & TV Awards Reveals Best Musical Moment Nominees (Exclusive)," 11 June 2018 The Tigers lost to Oregon State 14-1 in a winners' bracket game late Saturday. Christopher Dabe,, "LSU vs. Oregon State, NCAA regional baseball tournament: how to watch, live stream (June 3)," 4 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The mystery is bracketed by another quirk: Oddly specific order sizes—many going out to five decimal points, with some repeating frequently. Matthew Leising,, "Crypto Coin Tether Defies Logic on Kraken’s Market, Raising Red Flags," 29 June 2018 On the island’s southwestern face, the Capella hotel is bracketed by Universal Studios Singapore and two golf courses. Richard C. Paddock, New York Times, "Tightly Guarded, Singapore Battens Down for a Summit Meeting," 8 June 2018 NCAA Division III Championship brackets Some early matches include: Mount Union's Nick Mancini (24-2) is the No. Branson Wright,, "NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships brackets set," 12 June 2017 Payton’s strong solos on piano and trumpet bracketed an extended bass solo by Spalding that was especially energetic, impassioned, and adept, Carrington accenting her partners’ work throughout with brilliant freestyle drumming. Bill Beuttler,, "A lot of love in the air as the TEN Trio grooves at Scullers," 1 July 2018 Maeda did not start either of the two games against Oakland earlier this week, a series bracketed by two off days. Andy Mccullough,, "Early struggles doom Dodgers," 14 Apr. 2018 Several taller buildings bracket the site, and the Boston Planning & Development Agency recently approved a 32-story tower atop the Huntington Theatre, one block to the west. Tim Logan,, "Boston’s retro-style MidTown Hotel may give way to development," 14 June 2018 The Griswold Wolverine softball team battled its way through the state Class M tournament bracket all the way to the championship finals, before falling to St. Joseph of Trumbull in a 5-2 loss June 9 in West Haven. Janice Steinhagen, Courant Community, "Griswold State Class M Softball Runnerup," 11 June 2018 Marshall’s many successes bracketed one notable failure. New York Times, "A Marshall Plan for China? It Existed, but Even Marshall Couldn’t Pull It Off," 6 June 2018

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 Celt origin — more at breech

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Learn More about bracket

Phrases Related to bracket

curly bracket

Statistics for bracket

Last Updated

8 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bracket

The first known use of bracket was in 1574

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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 \

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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Comments on bracket

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


evasion of direct action or statement

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