brake·man | \ ˈbrāk-mən \

Definition of brakeman 

1 : a freight or passenger train crew member who inspects the train and assists the conductor

2 : the member of a bobsled team who operates the brake

Examples of brakeman in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Perhaps because of the decline in the shipping industry, John’s son John Leo Kelly moved to Massachusetts and went to work as a railroad brakeman. Philip Bump,, "Immigration crucial part of Kelly’s family history," 12 May 2018 The technology would end the days of brakemen running on top of train cars to individually apply the brakes, a system that often required miles for a train to stop. Thomas Gryta, WSJ, "Why Thomas Edison Would Not Be Happy About GE’s Latest Deal," 23 May 2018 Perhaps because of the decline in the shipping industry, John’s son John Leo Kelly moved to Massachusetts and went to work for the railroad, holding a position as a brakeman. Philip Bump,, "How John Kelly’s family history compares with the immigrants he wants to keep from entering," 11 May 2018 Even in bobsled, the relationship between driver and brakeman doesn’t require the same amount of synchronization between partners through every curve. Dan Wolken, USA TODAY, "2018 Winter Olympics: Doubles lugers liken their partnership to, well, a marriage," 12 Feb. 2018 The fireman and brakeman on the moving train leaped from the engine’s cab before the collision. John Kelly, Washington Post, "All aboard as Answer Man revisits the day in 1976 a train derailed in Takoma," 6 Jan. 2018 Olympic outlook:Less than three years after taking up bobsled, McGuffie will be a four-man bobsled pusher and two-man bobsled brakeman for Team USA. Mark Spezia, Detroit Free Press, "Winter Olympics 2018: Meet Michigan's Olympians headed to Pyeongchang," 8 Feb. 2018 Shortly after returning from Sochi, Elana began recruiting for her new brakeman — the person who pushes the bobsled forward at the beginning of a race and pulls the brake at the end of it. Shannon Barbour, Cosmopolitan, "12 Things to Know About Elana Meyers Taylor and Lauren Gibbs, Team USA's World Champion Bobsledders," 22 Jan. 2018 Jamanka and brakeman Lisa Buckwitz finished their four runs in 3 minutes, 22.45 seconds. Tim Reynolds,, "U.S. team of Elana Meyers Taylor and Lauren Gibbs win silver in women's bobsled," 21 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'brakeman.' 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 brakeman

1833, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

4 Aug 2018

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Time Traveler for brakeman

The first known use of brakeman was in 1833

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More Definitions for brakeman


brake·man | \ ˈbrāk-mən \
plural brakemen\-mən \

Kids Definition of brakeman

: a crew member on a train who inspects the train and helps the conductor

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