brass tacks

plural noun

Definition of brass tacks

: details of immediate practical importance usually used in the phrase get down to brass tacks

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Synonyms for brass tacks


nitty-gritty, nuts and bolts, ropes

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Examples of brass tacks in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The Weekly Standard’s version of conservatism was one that was supposed to be untethered — to candidates or specific matters of policy or even to the brass tacks of politics itself. Jane Coaston, Vox, "What the Weekly Standard meant to conservatism," 14 Dec. 2018 The conversations can be searching, get philosophical, then quickly veer back to brass tacks. Tina Nguyen, The Hive, "Barack Obama Is Quietly Getting into the 2020 Race," 11 June 2018 The Center and the Square have dozens of shops selling a variety of wares from books and brass tacks to boots and bangles. Joan Walden,, "63 Westland Avenue, West Hartford," 19 Jan. 2018 Getting down to brass tacks: These kids need to be singing like their livelihood depends on it. Robbie Daw, Billboard, "'American Idol' Top 14 Give Lackluster Performances: Critic's Take," 23 Apr. 2018 The following two days, after a panel discussion about the development of opera in the 21st century, Cleveland Opera Theater will get down to brass tacks with a scenes workshop. Patrick Cooley,, "Vintage pictures of a frozen Lake Erie," 18 Jan. 2018 Shoppers can browse Fair casually or get right to the brass tacks of what the company will agree to sell, er, lease them. David Muller, Car and Driver, "Cars without Commitment: Fair Says It Has Hatched a New Method of Vehicle “Ownership”," 10 Oct. 2017 But with both sides trying to keep options open, there has been little candid talk about brass tacks. Alexander Coolidge, USA TODAY, "How to get P&G's stock above $100 per share," 8 Oct. 2017 One of the roles of journalists is to separate brass tacks from bullshine. Dahlia Lithwick, Slate Magazine, "What’s Behind Dan Rather’s Wild Popularity?," 26 Sep. 2017

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

1863, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for brass tacks

The first known use of brass tacks was in 1863

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to shake or wave menacingly

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