1

brake

\ ˈbrāk \

Definition of brake


2

brake

noun

Definition of brake

botany :the common bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum)

Origin and Etymology of brake

Middle English, fern, probably back-formation from braken bracken


3

brake

noun

Definition of brake

1 :a toothed instrument or machine for separating out the fiber of flax or hemp by breaking up the woody parts
2 :a machine for bending, flanging, folding, and forming sheet metal

Origin and Etymology of brake

Middle English, from Middle Low German; akin to Old English brecan to break

Other Agriculture/Gardening Terms


4

brake

noun

Definition of brake

geography :rough or marshy land overgrown usually with one kind of plant
  • cedar brakes
  • coastal brakes

braky

play \ˈbrā-kē\ adjective

Origin and Etymology of brake

Middle English -brake


5

brake

noun

Definition of brake

1 :a device for arresting or preventing the motion of a mechanism usually by means of friction
  • apply the brakes
  • took his foot off the brake
2 :something used to slow down or stop movement or activity
  • use interest rates as a brake on spending

brakeless

play \ˈbrā-kləs\ adjective

break and brake: Remembering Which is Which

It can be hard to apply these words correctly: they sound exactly the same, and their spellings aren't easily connected to their meanings. One of the pair, however, is quite limited in scope, and focusing on when to apply that one can be key.

When the subject is slowing or stopping movement, the word to use is brake. Brake is both a noun, as in "put on the brakes" and "took my foot off the brake," and a verb, as in "brake at the stop sign" and "I brake for moose." As a noun, it's also used before other nouns: "brake fluid," "brake pedal." As in these examples, the word is used in contexts relating to cars, bicycles, and other vehicles. It's also used figuratively, however, to talk about the slowing or stopping of activity, as in "putting the brakes on spending."

Break also functions as both a noun and a verb, and it's the word you want in all other contexts, such as when the topic is something separating into parts or pieces ("the plate will break if it falls," "break a leg," "a bad break"), being damaged to the point of no longer working ("break a watch"), failing to do what is promised ("break a promise"), or referring to a time during which activity stops ("take a break").

If you have difficulty keeping these straight and are inclined to think in pictures, you might want to imagine a foot nestled in the top of the k in brake, pressing that top line down onto the e, which isn't saying a thing, because the k has put the brakes on.

Origin and Etymology of brake

perhaps from obsolete brake bridle

Other Automotive Terms


6

brake

verb

Definition of brake

braked; braking
transitive verb
:to slow or stop by or as if by a brake (see 5brake)
  • braking a tractor
intransitive verb
1 :to operate or manage a brake; especially :to apply the brake on a vehicle
  • brake around the curves
2 :to become checked by a brake
  • The train braked to a stop.

Examples of brake in a Sentence

  1. I had to brake suddenly when a cat ran in front of the car.

  2. braked the car sharply when someone pulled out in front of us

Origin and Etymology of brake

see 5brake

Other Automotive Terms


BRAKE Defined for English Language Learners

brake

verb

Definition of brake for English Language Learners

  • : to use the brake on a vehicle


BRAKE Defined for Kids

1

brake

noun \ ˈbrāk \

Definition of brake for Students

:a device for slowing or stopping motion (as of a wheel) usually by friction

2

brake

verb

Definition of brake for Students

braked; braking
:to slow or stop by using a brake
  • I had to brake suddenly.


Seen and Heard

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