noun, often attributive
\ ˈbrik How to pronounce brick (audio) \

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 made 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 overbrick 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

Noun 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 Everything about the gated, two-story brick house says: Stay away. Robert Wilonsky, Dallas News, "A ‘reverend’ forged deed on $4M foreclosed Dallas mansion, court records say. The bank wants it back.," 7 Feb. 2020 Betts House Built in what would become Cincinnati’s West End in 1804, the Betts House is the oldest brick house in Ohio. Madeline Northup,, "10 places with a big dose of history in Cincinnati," 16 Jan. 2020 She’d been hired on the spot, at a wage that would more than cover her expenses, including rent for her four-bedroom red brick house. Elizabeth Flock, The New Yorker, "How Far Can Abused Women Go to Protect Themselves?," 13 Jan. 2020 The bakery is on the first two floors of a charming brick house. Chris Morocco, Bon Appétit, "Almondine Bakery Is the Only Reason You’ll Find Me in Dumbo," 8 Jan. 2020 The nearly 3,000-square-foot, traditional red-brick house is zoned to Lamar ISD schools. Darla Guillen Gilthorpe, Houston Chronicle, "What $300,000 buys in Houston compared to the suburbs," 3 Jan. 2020 And in a neat twist, a replica of the yellow brick house in Detroit that serves as the blind man's home was constructed on a Budapest soundstage. Julie Hinds,, "These are the 50 most essential movies set in Michigan," 12 Dec. 2019 The biggest beauty secret in Palm Beach is found not in a surgeon's office but in a simple brick house on the west side, home to Tammy Fender's Holistic Skincare Spa. Garrett Munce, Town & Country, "The Facial People Are Flying to Palm Beach For," 10 Dec. 2019 In Wadsworth, Caplan’s all-brick house was built in 2000 and has 4½ baths and three fireplaces. Bob Goldsborough,, "Meteorologist Mike Caplan lists house in Wadsworth for $750,000," 27 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Risk of bricking aside, connecting things to the internet also leaves those objects, and everything else on your Wi-Fi network, more vulnerable to hackers. Arielle Pardes, Wired, "The WIRED Guide to the Internet of Things," 10 Feb. 2020 Sexton tried to answer, bricking a pull-up jumper from the foul line. Chris Fedor, cleveland, "John Beilein has private talk with rookie Kevin Porter Jr., offers encouragement after costly late-game mistakes," 31 Jan. 2020 Plus, customers have already accidentally bricked perfectly good speakers, creating more waste. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, "If Your Sonos Speaker Was Made Before 2011, You're About to Need a New One," 22 Jan. 2020 Boston had scored six straight points to cut the margin to single digits for the first time since the first quarter, taking advantage of sloppy play, lackluster defense and bricked three-pointers in the process. Matt Velazquez, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Celtics 116, Bucks 105: Hot start for Milwaukee ends in another collapse," 30 Oct. 2019 The first three-pointer of the game-altering stretch came from Giannis Antetokounmpo, who the on the previous possession had bricked a three-point attempt hard off the backboard. Matt Velazquez, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Bucks 117, Pacers 89: A barrage of three-pointers erases any doubt," 22 Dec. 2019 Stop by the 22,000-square-foot historical building, renovated with glass doors, pine floors, bricked archways and fireplaces for a collection of one-of-a-kind finds. Ben Flanagan |, al, "Alabama football fans: Things to do in College Station if you’re catching the Texas A&M game," 11 Oct. 2019 Then there was the infamous Nyko Portable Docking Kit, one of the most high-profile alternative docks that customers claimed would break their console’s ability to charge or even brick them entirely. Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge, "Genki tries to crack portable Switch docks with its new Covert Dock," 8 Aug. 2019 Previous SlideNext Slide There is one area in which the rumors of Switches getting bricked due to proprietary, non-standard Nintendo design is correct, however. Jim Salter, Ars Technica, "Here’s why Nintendo Switch consoles keep frying," 3 Aug. 2019

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


15th century, 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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Time Traveler for brick

Time Traveler

The first known use of brick was in the 15th century

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Statistics for brick

Last Updated

14 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Brick.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for brick


How to pronounce brick (audio)

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 How to pronounce brick (audio) \

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for brick

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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

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