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

Members of his party would have come down on him like a ton of bricks. Newt Gingrich and the Republicans would have gleefully rubbed his face in it every day. Peggy Noonan, WSJ, "Reflections on Impeachment, 20 Years Later," 29 Nov. 2018 Where there are now hulking brick warehouses, predominantly in the Missouri River-adjacent West Bottoms neighborhood, there were once acres of stockyards; the corporatized remnants of a prairie past. Marley Marius, Vogue, "A Guide to Kansas City, Missouri: Its History, Its Culture, and Why It’s Worth a Closer Look," 23 Nov. 2018 Katamama, its gypset-chic boutique hotel in Seminyak, was built two years ago from 1.8 million bricks handmade in a central Balinese village. Alex Postman, Condé Nast Traveler, "Finding the Bali You Came For," 16 Nov. 2018 Several years prior, the company shuttered a nearby Sears Paint and Appliance store. and of the two, that's the one that hit me like a ton of bricks. Roy Berendson, Popular Mechanics, "Sears Declared Bankruptcy And I Already Miss It," 15 Oct. 2018 Just in time for the Fourth of July holiday, visitors to the National Mall in Washington, D.C., have built a giant American flag out of LEGO bricks. Rebecca Bratek, CBS News, "Visitors build giant American flag out of LEGO bricks on the National Mall," 3 July 2018 The huge building has swallowed up just a half million of brick. Arthur Hart, idahostatesman, "When Idaho’s frontier towns turned to brick, many looked nearby for kilns," 23 June 2018 Like the West Oak Lane hod carrier who in 1925 whacked his coworker with a bundle of bricks, knocking him through a hole in a roof, 12 feet to the ground below, and into the hereafter. Mike Newall,, "Locked away in a closet, Philly's historical homicide files tell the story of a young, cruel city | Mike Newall," 22 June 2018 These aides may help him push back against the notion, hawked by old attack ads showing stacks of bricks crashing, that López Obrador’s anti-big-business policies could ruin Mexico. Maya Averbuch, The New Republic, "What Turns an Outsider Into a President?," 23 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Apple Watch owners can rest assured that today’s update is specifically built not to brick their devices. Dami Lee, The Verge, "watchOS 5.1.1 is out now, and it will no longer brick your Apple Watch," 5 Nov. 2018 In Instacart’s case, it’s by being the chief ally to brick-and-mortar retailers in a $1 trillion industry where e-commerce sales are growing 29 percent year-over-year, but still account for no more than 5 percent of total sales. Jason Del Rey, Recode, "Instacart’s new $7 billion valuation is a bet on the future of grocery delivery — not a wager against Amazon," 16 Oct. 2018 With just over a minute left, Redick bricked a wide-open three from the left wing, a shot that would have given the Sixers a five-point lead. Rohan Nadkarni,, "Celtics Finish Sixers, Earn Rematch With LeBron in Conference Finals," 10 May 2018 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

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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Statistics for brick

Last Updated

5 Dec 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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More from Merriam-Webster on brick

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with brick

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for brick

Spanish Central: Translation of brick

Nglish: Translation of brick for Spanish Speakers

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

Comments on brick

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


to enclose within walls

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