\ ˈbras How to pronounce brass (audio) \

Definition of brass

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an alloy consisting essentially of copper and zinc in variable proportions
2a : the brass instruments of an orchestra or band often used in plural
b : a usually brass memorial tablet
c : bright metal fittings, utensils, or ornaments
d : empty cartridge shells
3 : brazen self-assurance : gall
4 singular or plural in construction
a : high-ranking members of the military
b : persons in high positions (as in a business or the government)



Definition of brass (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : made of brass a brass cannon — see also brass ring, brass tacks
2 : made up of or composed for brass musical instruments the band's brass section — see also brass band

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Examples of brass in a Sentence

Noun a candlestick made of brass The whole orchestra—the strings, percussion, woodwinds, and brass—began to play. The brasses began to play. polishing the brass and the silver
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In California's 10th District, a second batch of racist, offensive social media posts by Republican candidate Ted Howze is causing headaches for top-brass House Republicans. Caitlin Conant, CBS News, "2020 Daily Trail Markers: Klobuchar being vetted by Biden as running mate," 21 May 2020 And yet there is not a peep, in all this sensational reporting, from concerned military brass; and nary a call for further investigation from national security wonks. Keith Kloor, Wired, "Will the New York Times Ever Stop Reporting on UFOs?," 17 May 2020 The once-dark countertops were replaced with leftover terrazzo from the kitchen, and brass finishing touches complete the vanity. Nena Farrell, Sunset Magazine, "How Fresh Paint (and Beautiful Rugs!) Gave This A-Frame Cabin a Second Life," 7 May 2020 Among them is the brass cookbook and tablet stand, adding a pop of sophistication to the kitchen counter while also propping up all those cookbooks bought while in self-quarantine. Rachel King, Fortune, "Gift ideas for new graduates and young professionals," 1 May 2020 Keychain Doubling as a bottle opener and a brass hands-free tool, this adds a dreamy, otherworldly touch to your keychain. Taylyn Washington-harmon,, "3 Keychain Touch Tools That Are a Safe Alternative to Wearing Gloves in Public," 22 Apr. 2020 My face, after the sun of the long Pacific voyage, suggested copper and brass. Ed Park, The New York Review of Books, "Like No One They’d Ever Seen," 8 Apr. 2020 Bengals brass talked to Tagovailoa on Monday night and interviewed the presumptive No. 1 pick Burrow on Wednesday afternoon. Tyler Dragon,, "Bengals notebook: Team wants to sign A.J. Green and Joe Mixon to extensions," 27 Feb. 2020 Black Is Back Matte black (and brass) fittings have all but supplanted nickel and chrome., "Black Is Back," 12 Oct. 2019

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


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for brass


Middle English bras, from Old English bræs; akin to Middle Low German bras metal

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Time Traveler for brass

Time Traveler

The first known use of brass was before the 12th century

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Statistics for brass

Last Updated

27 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Brass.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for brass


How to pronounce brass (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of brass

: a yellow metal that is made by combining copper and zinc
: musical instruments (such as trumpets, trombones, and tubas) that are made of brass
: bright metal objects made of brass


\ ˈbras How to pronounce brass (audio) \

Kids Definition of brass

1 : an alloy made by combining copper and zinc
2 : the musical instruments of an orchestra or band that are usually made of brass and include the cornets, trumpets, trombones, French horns, and tubas

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More from Merriam-Webster on brass

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for brass

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with brass

Spanish Central: Translation of brass

Nglish: Translation of brass for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of brass for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about brass

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