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 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

The society's permanent Manchester home, an octagonal brick building, sits unfinished, nearly two decades in the making and beleaguered by graffiti and broken windows costing tens of thousands in repairs. Nicole Sganga, CBS News, "A shaken mosque welcomes Beto O'Rourke in New Hampshire," 9 Sep. 2019 The bullpen’s exposed brick The functions and limitations of this A’s bullpen have already proved to be a challenge to navigate. Shayna Rubin, The Mercury News, "Athletics blow a 4-0 lead in bullpen meltdown," 6 Sep. 2019 Recently, however, Forever 21 has faced competition from new online fast fashion companies which do not have the practical limitations and financial burdens that come with brick-and-mortar stores. Marc Bain, Quartzy, "Ariana Grande’s lawyers say Forever 21 stole her image as a “desperate attempt to stay relevant”," 4 Sep. 2019 It was destroyed by fire about 1800 and replaced by the present one-room brick building., "Community News For The Enfield Edition," 30 Aug. 2019 The restaurant opened its first brick-and-mortar shop on Eastern Avenue in 2016. Christina Tkacik,, "Ekiben opening second location in Hampden, formerly home to Tiger Style," 29 Aug. 2019 Earlier this month, Business Insider reported that more than 8,000 brick-and-mortar stores have closed in 2019, endangering malls and shopping centers everywhere. Nicola Dall'asen, Allure, "New Reports Claim Forever 21 Is Preparing to File for Bankruptcy," 29 Aug. 2019 The modest beginnings of a massive task can be found across the street from a bustling arena construction site, inside a historic single-story brick building that once functioned as an auto garage during the Great Depression. Alex Prewitt,, "Two Years From Seattle's Inaugural Season, GM Ron Francis Has So Much to Do," 12 Aug. 2019 The once-deteriorating brick building that served as one of Denver’s first fire stations has been incorporated into the sleek new Hilton Garden Inn located in the heart of the city’s booming Union Station neighborhood. Stacey Mckenna, The Know, "10 bars, restaurants and art spaces that give new life to historic buildings," 8 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

After making the first, Tatum bricked the second but recovered to make the third to send the game to overtime locked at 81–81. Emily Caron,, "Team USA Avoids Upset by Turkey in FIBA World Cup Overtime Thriller," 3 Sep. 2019 Before Guru Gobind’s arrival at Talwandi, two of the Guru’s sons were bricked alive at Sirhind and two laid down their lives at Chamkaur Sahib. Sondeep Sankar, Quartz India, "In photos: A glorious history of Sikhism," 3 Sep. 2019 Renovation workers discovered historic features that had been covered up by earlier remodeling, included murals, dishes, bricked-up windows and opera posters on ceilings. USA TODAY, "Ink library, parking barnacles, lunar training grounds: News from around our 50 states," 9 July 2019 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

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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Statistics for brick

Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for brick

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

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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 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

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).


formidable, illustrious, or eminent

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