\ 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 However, a study in the New England Journal of Medicine reports that SARS-CoV2 is dead after four hours on copper, which is likely similar to brass. Taylyn Washington-harmon,, "3 Keychain Touch Tools That Are a Safe Alternative to Wearing Gloves in Public," 22 Apr. 2020 This, after a Wauwatosa Police Detective found a $729 receipt from another scrap yard for selling 561 pounds of yellow brass on the front passenger seat of the car. Evan Casey, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Police are closing in on suspects they think stole over 300 cemetery vases in southeastern Wisconsin," 23 Dec. 2019 Another easy-to-install option is this hands-on SmarterFresh bidet toilet shower attachment, which features an ergonomic hand sprayer made of heavy-duty solid brass. Popular Science, "Six toilet upgrades that could very well change your life," 18 Dec. 2019 As Roberts considered his role in determining Helton’s future, the brass section of USC’s marching band blared loudly outside of his window. Ryan Kartje, Los Angeles Times, "USC’s interim athletic director says he won’t make decision on Clay Helton," 9 Oct. 2019 The brass section blared like car horns, and built up, then toppled towers of open intervals., "BSO and Andris Nelsons open the Symphony Hall season with a sweet, eclectic program - The Boston Globe," 21 Sep. 2019 Webdell said the South Shore Orchestra will be assisted by Valparaiso High School brass-section students. Bob Kostanczuk, Post-Tribune, "South Shore Orchestra performs 'Roman Invasion'," 24 May 2018 Sixpenny Yuma Desk Sixpenny’s 40-inch-wide Yuma desk in Cordovan-finish mahogany with solid brass accents and three open storage compartments; $899, 2. Degen Pener, The Hollywood Reporter, "10 Decor Items to Take a Home Office From Drab to Fab During Quarantine," 16 Apr. 2020 There are now four hosts on The View after Abby Huntsman left in January following clashes with the show's top brass. John Gage, Washington Examiner, "'I provide employment for right-wing media': Joy Behar shuts down rumors she is retiring," 9 Apr. 2020

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

13 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Brass.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 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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