brake·​man ˈbrāk-mən How to pronounce brakeman (audio)
: a freight or passenger train crew member who inspects the train and assists the conductor
: the member of a bobsled team who operates the brake

Examples of brakeman in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Meyers Taylor is a four-time Olympian and three-time medalist, winning silvers as a driver in 2014 and 2018 and a bronze as a brakeman in 2010. USA TODAY, 4 Feb. 2022 The crew of the 40-car train included an engineer, a conductor, a brakeman and a conductor trainee. Josh Funk, ajc, 18 Apr. 2023 His father was a railroad brakeman who died when Billy was about 10; his mother was a substitute teacher. Richard Sandomir, New York Times, 14 Apr. 2023 In his memoir All the Strange Hours (1975), the anthropologist Loren Eiseley recounts an incident of the early 1930s in which a man in a hobo camp hears the twenty-year-old Eiseley tell of how he’d just been beaten by a brakeman trying to throw him off a box car. Vivian Gornick, The New York Review of Books, 9 Mar. 2021 Artifacts on display will include conductor ticket punches, brakeman and engineer coat buttons, a bell that was used to signal to people that a train was starting to move, and more. Jenna Kunze, Smithsonian Magazine, 7 Mar. 2023 Eggleston’s wife, Kelly, also works at the railway as a brakeman, Presby said. Nick Stoico,, 12 Dec. 2022 Humphries was so respected in Canada that she and her brakeman, Heather Moyse, were chosen to carry the flag in the closing ceremony in Sochi. Nancy Armour, USA TODAY, 14 Feb. 2022 Henry Tipton Jones, son of Ralph L. Jones, a Patapsco & Back Rivers Railroad brakeman, and Julia Alice Sellers Jones, a homemaker, was born in Baltimore and spent his early years in Sparrows Point before moving with his family to Dundalk. Frederick N. Rasmussen, Baltimore Sun, 24 June 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'brakeman.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1833, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of brakeman was in 1833

Dictionary Entries Near brakeman

Cite this Entry

“Brakeman.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


brake·​man ˈbrāk-mən How to pronounce brakeman (audio)
: a member of a train crew who inspects the train and assists the conductor
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