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 The majority of coronavirus infections in San Francisco are people in the 18-to-50 age bracket, according to data collected by the Department of Public Health. Aidin Vaziri,, "After 100 days of sheltering in the Bay Area, what have we learned about the coronavirus?," 21 June 2020 Who knows how far Miller could have taken his team in the Class 2A playoff bracket, but with the season ending early because of the coronavirus, his team finished the year as a winner. David J. Kim, The Courier-Journal, "Providence boys basketball's Ryan Miller named Courier Journal Coach of the Year," 19 June 2020 Like the majority of parents in her income bracket, Haskins gets no government help covering that cost. Lillian Mongeau, USA TODAY, "High-quality daycare is too expensive. Government subsidies are making it worse.," 28 June 2020 Dallas is at risk of entering the Summer Showdown on July 3 with the worst seed in the bracket. Sean Collins, Dallas News, "Preview, prediction and player to watch: Dallas Fuel need to do what it takes to defeat Toronto," 26 June 2020 For the week ending June 7, there were 43 new cases per 100,000 people in that age bracket, compared with 28 cases per 100,000 people over 65. Carla K. Johnson, Tamara Lush, Anchorage Daily News, "Virus cases surge among younger Americans, endangering them and older adults they come into contact with," 25 June 2020 The 64-person bracket competed to see who could grow the ugliest mustache. Fox News, "Navy ships stuck at sea amid coronavirus pandemic break 161-day record," 25 June 2020 Instead of making brackets for the March Madness college basketball tournament, sailors on the USS San Jacinto held a tournament, complete with a 64-person bracket, to see who could grow the ugliest mustache. Zachary Halaschak, Washington Examiner, "Navy ships break record for longest time at sea during coronavirus pandemic," 25 June 2020 Group winners will be paired with group runners-up in the Round of 16, with home advantage being determined by record for the remainder of the bracket. Akeem Glaspie, The Indianapolis Star, "Indy Eleven will play regionalized, 16-game regular season," 24 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Flowers no longer seem like a petty distraction from a mighty destiny, no longer an insult to ambition, but a genuine pleasure amidst a litany of troubles, an invitation to bracket anxieties, a small resting place for hope in a sea of difficulties. The School Of Life, CNN, "The School of Life presents: Self-discovery in self-isolation," 22 Apr. 2020 It is based on the life of painter Antonio Ligabue, whose fame as an artist is bracketed by a childhood as an orphan and a decline into insanity. Angelika Jansen,, "An unhappy world in focus at Berlin Film Festival," 9 Mar. 2020 In only one of those games did the Flashes face a top-90 pass offense, and the quartet of games was bracketed by yielding 342 passing yards to Ohio Oct. 19 and 386 yards to Eastern Michigan Nov. 29. Cameron Dasilva, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl: Utah State vs. Kent State odds, picks and best bets," 19 Dec. 2019 Early in the state’s coronavirus outbreak, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown ordered all the state’s public schools to cancel seven school days bracketing spring break. oregonlive, "Coronavirus closure won’t lead to online classes in Oregon public schools. This is why," 19 Mar. 2020 The Pabst Theater Group is also hosting a couple of live tapings of political podcasts, bracketing the convention. Piet Levy, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Activist rocker Billy Bragg playing Milwaukee during Democratic National Convention," 24 Feb. 2020 This Saturday contest figures to have 3-pointers and free-throws leading to another Over as well, but the public has this total well bracketed. Marcus Mosher, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "Oregon at Oregon State college basketball odds, picks and best bets," 8 Feb. 2020 While all campaigns do some amount of this outreach, the Trump campaign has made a specialty of bracketing his in-person campaign rallies with events before and after, designed to maximize local media coverage. Catherine Lucey, WSJ, "Trump Campaign Works to Garner Local News Coverage," 28 Jan. 2020 The Hart Plaza techno festival has been the de facto kickoff of the summer music season in metro Detroit, bracketed on the other end by Labor Day events including the Detroit International Jazz Festival and Arts, Beats & Eats in Royal Oak . Brian Mccollum, Detroit Free Press, "Movement techno festival, a Memorial Day fixture in Detroit, moves to September," 20 Mar. 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

1 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Bracket.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for bracket


How to pronounce bracket (audio)

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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