noun, often attributive
\ˈbrik \

Definition of brick 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 plural bricks or brick : a handy-sized unit of building or paving material typically being rectangular and about 2¹/₄ × 3³/₄ × 8 inches (57 × 95 × 203 millimeters) and of moist clay hardened by heat

2 : a good-hearted person

3 : a rectangular compressed mass (as of ice cream)

4 : a semisoft cheese with numerous small holes, smooth texture, and often mild flavor

5 : gaffe, blunder used especially in the phrase drop a brick

6 : a badly missed shot in basketball he threw up a brick


bricked; bricking; bricks

Definition of brick (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to close, face, or pave with bricks usually used with up, in, or over brick up a doorwaybrick over an opening

2 : to render (an electronic device, such as a smartphone) nonfunctional (as by accidental damage, malicious hacking, or software changes) … those who dared hack the phone to add features … risked having it "bricked"—completely and permanently disabled—on the next automatic update …— Jonathan Zittrain

3 basketball, informal : to miss (a shot) very badly : to throw up a brick on (a shot) (see brick entry 1 sense 6) brick a free throw

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Examples of brick in a Sentence


a house made of brick a brick of ice cream children playing with wooden bricks He has been an absolute brick.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

At one point, fire officials said, flames were shooting through the roof of the 150-foot brick building used for storage and mechanical repairs. Rick Barrett, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Two-alarm fire damages Maynard Steel in Milwaukee," 14 July 2018 That fire started in a wood frame building just before 4:05 a.m. in the 13000 block of Baltimore Avenue and spread to a brick building nearby, burning until nearly 5:30 a.m., Merritt said. Hannah Leone,, "Woman dead, several taken to hospitals after 3 early morning fires," 14 July 2018 An engineering report prepared for the owner concluded that the brick building was a total loss. Inga Saffron,, "A tale of two historic Philadelphia buildings: One rises from the ashes. The other falls to the wrecking ball.," 12 July 2018 Large numbers of law enforcement officers responded to the one-story brick building on the edge of McComb, about 100 miles south of Jackson. NBC News, "Mississippi man stabs relatives in federal office — shot dead by security guard," 9 July 2018 While the area has faced challenges over the years, its innate resilience and built-in beauty — including gorgeous brick buildings — gives Over-the-Rhine historic charm. Annie Zaleski,, "See Cincinnati with fresh eyes and visit these 7 postcard-worthy sites," 29 June 2018 Ramos lives in an apartment near Route 1, in a cluster of three-story brick buildings about 35 minutes from the Capital Gazette offices. Anchorage Daily News, "Suspect in Capital Gazette shooting had sued paper for defamation," 29 June 2018 The building is one of uptown Charlotte's oldest commercial strips, with brick buildings that date to 1921. Kathleen Purvis, charlotteobserver, "Popular uptown restaurant closed for pest infestation, other problems," 22 June 2018 This 1,900-square-foot townhouse in Portland, Ore., is located in a 1908 brick building that was once the freight warehouse and passenger terminal for the Spokane, Portland and Seattle Railway. Nancy Keates, WSJ, "When Your Dining Room Was Once A Railroad Terminal," 19 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

His first season in Oklahoma City ended on a massive thud, with him bricking his way through the end of a first-round exit, and his return has helped push his team’s payroll well above the luxury-tax line. Ben Golliver,, "2018 NBA Free Agency: The Early Winners And Losers," 5 July 2018 The new recommendation comes weeks after reports that some Switch systems were getting bricked after being updated to recent firmware and plugged in to third-party docks from the likes of Nyko. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Nintendo warns against using substandard Switch charging cables," 6 Apr. 2018 Since 2012, District 203 spent more than $634,000 enhancing the varsity baseball field, bricking the backstop, adding screening and foul poles, renovating the press box, constructing handicap-accessible bleachers and installing batting cages. Suzanne Baker, Naperville Sun, "Dad demands equal spending on baseball and softball at Naperville Central: 'Title IX was enacted in 1972'," 9 June 2018 Most everyone else is bricking shots and playing terrible defense. Rohan Nadkarni,, "The Celtics Have Dominated the Cavs With Depth And Relentlessness," 15 May 2018 Things were ominous from the get-go Saturday as Davis opened the game by swishing an 18-footer and McCollum followed by bricking a three-pointer. Joe Freeman,, "New Orleans Pelicans' stars outshine Trail Blazers' stars to steal Game 1 of Western Conference Playoffs," 15 Apr. 2018 Antetokounmpo's challenge clearly affected the high-arcing shot, which bricked off the backboard. Matt Velazquez, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Bucks 124, Lakers 122 (OT): Eric Bledsoe finishes strong after Milwaukee stumbles," 31 Mar. 2018 The Buckeyes put together an 18-2 run, the two for Rutgers coming at the free throw line while the Knights continued to brick shots, at one point missing 13 of 14 field goal attempts. Bill Landis,, "Ohio State basketball stays unbeaten in Big Ten play, beats Rutgers 68-46," 15 Jan. 2018 Like many of those his players bricked in the series. John Canzano,, "Canzano: Portland Trail Blazers are in need of sweeping changes after playoff exit," 21 Apr. 2018

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


circa 1525, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1592, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for brick


Middle English bryke, from Middle Dutch bricke

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Learn More about brick

Phrases Related to brick

brick up

drop a brick

like a ton of bricks

Statistics for brick

Last Updated

10 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for brick

The first known use of brick was circa 1525

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More Definitions for brick



English Language Learners Definition of brick

: a small, hard block of baked clay that is used to build structures (such as houses) and sometimes to make streets, paths, etc.

: blocks of baked clay used as building material

: a block of something


\ˈbrik \

Kids Definition of brick

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a building or paving material made from clay molded into blocks and baked

2 : a block made of brick


bricked; bricking

Kids Definition of brick (Entry 2 of 2)

: to close, face, or pave with bricks

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Comments on brick

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not any or not one

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