brass

noun
\ 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)

brass

adjective

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

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Combating these threats will require a broader understanding of national security, one that includes business and nonprofit leaders as well as military brass. Elisabeth Braw, WSJ, "Stop Worrying and Learn to Love the Military-Industrial Complex," 2 Jan. 2019 People close to the matter said Thursday that Kelly’s lawyers and NBC brass planned to meet Friday to hash out the details of their relationship. Sarah Ellison, The Seattle Times, "Megyn Kelly’s NBC morning show is canceled," 26 Oct. 2018 WeWork’s top brass talk of its becoming a $100bn firm; others regard a tag of $20bn as already extremely stretched. The Economist, "Big corporates’ quest to be hip is helping WeWork," 12 July 2018 The United States insists that China abandon the brass-knuckles tactics it’s used to try to supplant America’s technological dominance. Washington Post, "Stuck in trade war, US and China face uncertain path to deal," 10 July 2018 Comprised of a number of percussionists and brass players, Junun put on a performance different from the normal guests on Colbert. Sam Tornow, Billboard, "Jonny Greenwood's Junun Makes Late Night Debut on 'Colbert': Watch," 10 July 2018 Responding in part to public fury over long waits for New Orleans police to respond to calls, Mayor Mitch Landrieu and NOPD brass launched a major initiative in recent years to recruit more officers and reduce wait times. Emily Lane, NOLA.com, "Why New Orleans still doesn't have enough police officers," 6 Apr. 2018 Rooms are unfussy, lots of white and gray, but with pops of emerald green or cobalt blue, brass fixtures, as well custom wallpaper patterned with native plants and botanical prints from the great Pacific Northwest artist Imogen Cunningham. Rebecca Misner, Condé Nast Traveler, "What to Do in Portland, OR, in January 2019," 20 Dec. 2018 In addition to American political and military leadership, Andrews also handles foreign royalty, prime ministers, presidents, popes, and foreign military top brass. Allison Barrie, Fox News, "Meet the new Air Force helicopters that can 'defy Armageddon'," 27 Sep. 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of brass

Noun

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

Adjective

15th century , in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for brass

Noun

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about brass

Dictionary Entries near brass

Brasília

brasilin

Brasov

brass

brassage

brass ankle

brassard

Statistics for brass

Last Updated

19 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for brass

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for brass

brass

noun

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

brass

noun
\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on brass

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with brass

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for brass

Spanish Central: Translation of brass

Nglish: Translation of brass for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of brass for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about brass

Comments on brass

What made you want to look up brass? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a shady place in a garden or forest

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt-painting-a-young-scholar-and-his-tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!