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

Keep scrolling for more

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


Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Bayside is the survivor of the East Zone bracket and National the West Zone. Robert Avery, Houston Chronicle, "Bayside 12s snap NASA’s 4-game winning streak to land in District 14 title game," 30 June 2019 For a Georgia taxpayer in the 37% tax bracket and facing the new cap, a $5,000 donation to a rural hospital there lowers that person’s state taxes by $5,000 and federal taxes by $1,850. Richard Rubin, WSJ, "As Treasury Targets Workarounds to Tax Law, Impact May Extend Beyond High-Tax States," 27 June 2018 Not every porch is all Victorian spindles, brackets and turned balustrades. Richard A. Marini, San Antonio Express-News, "Sit a spell with these 8 gorgeous front porches," 18 May 2018 The owners repainted the entire house, highlighting decorative brackets and unique detailing on the porch, according to the preservation commission. Steve Lord, Aurora Beacon-News, "Eight Aurora properties win preservation awards," 9 May 2018 All hardware was included, including bolts, brackets and wrench. Gary Garth, USA TODAY, "Gear review: A tent that mounts on top of your car," 25 Apr. 2018 Terrific team, open bracket and a blatant choke. 2. Sam Mellinger, kansascity, "Mellinger Minutes: Ranking KU's tournament losses under Self, plus Royals & Chiefs | The Kansas City Star," 3 Apr. 2018 The most intriguing first-round matchup in either the men's or women's bracket involves the other Williams sister: Venus, 39, will take on 15-year-old American Coco Gauff, the youngest qualifier at the All England Club in the half-century Open era., "Wimbledon draw: Federer, Nadal could meet in semifinals," 28 June 2019 Maximum savers While few can afford to save the maximum in their 401(k) plan, which is $19,000 in 2019, for those in the top tax bracket, saving $19,000 after-tax is equivalent to saving more than $24,000 pre-tax. Michael J. Francis, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "401K Advisor: Saving in a Roth account may be a better choice for 401(k) participants," 28 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

But then the rhetoric that bracketed those words made his point quite clear. Amy Davidson Sorkin, The New Yorker, "In Orlando, Trump Kicks Off His Reëlection Campaign with an Old, Divisive Message," 19 June 2019 China wants military predominance over the chain of islands that bracket the Asian mainland and stretch from the Aleutians to the Philippines. Seth Cropsey, WSJ, "America’s Stake in Taiwan," 18 June 2019 This period, known as the Cambrian explosion, roughly bracketed the appearance of nearly all major animal groups alive today. Quanta Magazine, "Rapid Oxygen Changes Fueled an Explosion in Ancient Animal Diversity," 9 May 2019 Then, too, each of the two bars at Infinity is bracketed by a huge pair of pink neon phalluses, which glow in the night like homosexual icons. Sally Helgesen, Harper's magazine, "Shadow Dancing," 10 June 2019 His eyes, brown as acorns, were bracketed by deepening crow’s-feet. Richard Conniff, WSJ, "‘The Dinosaur Artist’ Review: Old Bones Are Big Business," 6 Sep. 2018 Katz brackets the sensuous fruit abstractly, with pendulous flat green shapes masked by striped columns. Cate Mcquaid,, "Flattening time’s tides; a ‘Maid’ made in the shade," 30 May 2018 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

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about bracket

Statistics for bracket

Last Updated

16 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bracket

The first known use of bracket was in 1574

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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 form ideas or theories about something

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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