brick

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

brick

verb
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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The couple ended their run at the market in early 2019 to focus on their next project: a brick-and-mortar restaurant. Lauren Saria, azcentral, "This husband-and-wife team is moving their popular bakery and restaurant into the former Hula's building," 17 June 2019 Smoke showing from the top of 1436 Massachusetts Ave. sent firefighters to the 4-story brick and wood-framed building just after 7:30 a.m., Cambridge Fire Department said on Twitter. Sabrina Schnur, BostonGlobe.com, "Cambridge firefighters put out blaze in Harvard Square," 17 June 2019 Police and protesters were injured as police fired batons, tear gas and rubber bullets at demonstrators, who hurled bricks and planks. Doug Stanglin, USA TODAY, "What's next for Hong Kong? Controversial extradition bill suspended, not scrapped," 15 June 2019 Around 36 police officers suffered minor injuries due to bricks and rocks being thrown at them and several police vehicles were damaged. Fox News, "Man shot and killed by US marshals was wanted in Mississippi in connection with shooting," 14 June 2019 Now, starting Saturday, June 15, Moser’s dream of a brick-and-mortar gathering place will come true as Backhaus opens in downtown San Mateo. Linda Zavoral, The Mercury News, "San Mateo’s Backhaus opening a brick-and-mortar bakery," 14 June 2019 Pat Gallagher was speed-walking from room to room in his red-brick ranch home, chasing after his only child, Patrick, as the toddler’s 7 p.m. bedtime approached. Washington Post, "He never expected to be a single dad. Then a gunman in Virginia Beach made him one.," 14 June 2019 Riders will most likely pass the city’s red-brick cathedral, a Unesco World Heritage site and royal necropolis, and then sprint across the 11-mile (18-kilometer) Great Belt Bridge over the Baltic Sea to reach the finish-line in Nyborg. New York Times, "The Tour de France to Start in Denmark in 2021," 13 June 2019 Arcadia is suffering from many of the same challenges facing other bricks-and-mortar retailers, including declining foot traffic and expensive leases. Tom Corrigan, WSJ, "Creditors Approve Rescue Plan for Topshop Parent," 13 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Their enclosure began when they were literally bricked into their cells, and was meant to continue until the moment of their death. Annie Sutherland, Quartzy, "“The Handmaid’s Tale” costume is now the ultimate symbol of women’s rights," 13 June 2019 Wiens made note of how Error 53, which bricked iPhones using third-party components, forced Apple to develop a fix for the issue. Nick Statt, The Verge, "Apple confirms its T2 security chip blocks some third-party repairs of new Macs," 12 Nov. 2018 Yes, ECUs so equipped will brick themselves if malicious code is introduced into theirs—but that’s separate from tuning efforts. Alexander Stoklosa, Car and Driver, "The 2020 Chevrolet C8 Corvette's Engine Computer is Tuner-Resistant? We Think Not," 30 May 2019 But fans aren’t pleased, especially considering that the company has a history of bricking remote setups without warning. Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge, "Logitech angers users with Harmony update that breaks some home automation setups," 20 Dec. 2018 This isn’t the first time Logitech’s had to make amends: the company decided to brick the Harmony Hub’s predecessor last March, and agreed to give every owner a free Harmony Hub to deal with that backlash. Sean Hollister, The Verge, "Logitech pulls 180, will un-break third-party Harmony home automation," 21 Dec. 2018 Deary gutted the place to brick and studs himself, then moved walls to open it up, most notably in the master bath, where now no walls exist at all. Kathleen Hackett, ELLE Decor, "Keri Russell at Home," 5 May 2011 This isn't the first time Logitech has essentially bricked one of its own devices. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "Logitech disables local access on Harmony Hubs, breaks automation systems [Update]," 19 Dec. 2018 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

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.

See More

First Known Use of brick

Noun

circa 1525, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1592, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for brick

Noun

Middle English bryke, from Middle Dutch bricke

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about brick

Statistics for brick

Last Updated

20 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for brick

The first known use of brick was circa 1525

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for brick

brick

noun

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

brick

noun
\ 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

brick

verb
bricked; bricking

Kids Definition of brick (Entry 2 of 2)

: to close, face, or pave with bricks

Keep scrolling for more

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

Britannica.com: 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).

WORD OF THE DAY

showing courage and determination

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

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!