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

analogize, 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

Clayton was one of the other competitors in the quarterfinals, though Katz and Clayton did not compete against each other, according to a bracket on the EA Sports website. Alan Blinder, The Seattle Times, "Jacksonville shooting suspect appeared to be targeting specific gamers, police say," 28 Aug. 2018 All 30 teams will be seeded and will be put into a tournament bracket. Josh Robbins,, "Phoenix Suns' Deandre Ayton shines against Mo Bamba's Orlando Magic," 10 July 2018 There’s a fresh draw of pairings after each round instead a traditional bracket. Mark Zeigler,, "Winners, losers, trends and lessons from the World Cup's first round," 28 June 2018 Although the races are catered toward adults, there is a special morning bracket Sept. 30 for high school teams. Patricia Dillon, Houston Chronicle, "Registration open for YMCA Dragon Boat Team Challenge," 23 June 2018 The Strimer also comes with a PCIe bracket that slips into the rear of your case. Brad Chacos, PCWorld, "The Lian Li Strimer infuses your PC's power connector cable with customizable RGB lights," 4 June 2018 The gulf between the best women’s programs and those at the bottom of a bloated bracket is so great that a team with U of L’s talent could probably play four-on-five and still expect to advance. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "NCAA's lash leaves no mark on U of L's women's coach Jeff Walz," 26 May 2018 The Blues were the beneficiary of a favorable playoff bracket that ensured an expansion team would receive a spot in the finals. Matt Rybaltowski, New York Times, "Vegas Golden Knights Reach Stanley Cup Finals in First Season," 20 May 2018 Note: This bracket is intended to determine a team name. Rich Boudet, The Seattle Times, "Name Seattle's NHL team," 3 Oct. 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

Statistics for bracket

Last Updated

3 Dec 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).


to move with a clumsy heavy tread

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