\ ˈbrās How to pronounce brace (audio) \
braced; bracing

Definition of brace

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : prepare, steel brace yourself for the shock
b : invigorate, freshen … I took the shower and it braced me up a bit.— Raymond Chandler
c : to prepare for use by making taut brace a drum
2a : to furnish or support with a brace (see brace entry 2 sense 1) heavily braced against the wind
b : to make stronger : reinforce nerves … braced by long familiarity with danger— T. B. Macaulay
3 : to put or plant firmly braces his foot in the stirrup
4 nautical : to turn (a sail yard) by means of a brace (see brace entry 2 sense 1e)
5 : to waylay especially with demands or questions : confront when braced, Willie had naturally denied his identityTime
6 archaic : to fasten tightly : bind

intransitive verb

1 : to get ready (as for an attack) brace for the storm
2 : to take heart used with up brace up and do something— Upton Sinclair


plural braces

Definition of brace (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : something that transmits, directs, resists, or supports weight or pressure: such as
a : a diagonal piece of structural material that serves to strengthen something (such as a framework) walls held up with braces
b medical : an appliance for supporting a body part has braces on his legs a neck brace
c braces plural, dentistry : an orthodontic appliance usually of metallic wire that is used especially to exert pressure to straighten misaligned teeth had braces as a teenager
d British braces plural, clothing : suspenders
e nautical : a rope rove through a block at the end of a ship's yard (see yard entry 4 sense 3) to swing it horizontally
2a : one of two marks { } used to connect words or items to be considered together
b music : one of these marks connecting two or more musical staffs (see staff entry 1 sense 3) carrying parts to be performed simultaneously
c : bracket sense 3a numbers written in braces
3 or plural brace : two of a kind : pair several brace of quail
4 : something (such as a clasp) that connects or fastens
5 : a crank-shaped instrument for turning a bit (see bit entry 1 sense 1a(2))
6 : a position of rigid attention on review, his uniform and brace were technically correctTime
7 : something that arouses energy or strengthens morale

Examples of brace in a Sentence

Verb He braced the gate with a piece of wood. Steel columns brace the structure. She braced herself with one hand and reached up with the other. Noun We need to add some sort of brace to hold the shelf in place. He could walk with braces on his legs. She wears a back brace. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Protests broke out in Iran Thursday after the government cut subsidies for food, sending prices through the roof as authorities brace for more unrest in the following weeks. Ben Evansky, Fox News, 12 May 2022 Based on my agency’s experience helping real estate clients with their marketing, here are some digitally focused ways to brace your real estate company for what lies ahead. Candice Georgiadis, Forbes, 15 Apr. 2022 This exchange comes as Ukrainian forces brace for a major Russian offensive in eastern Ukraine. Grayson Quay, The Week, 10 Apr. 2022 As the first half of the 13-episode sixth season continues, Dalton warns viewers to brace themselves. Michael Schneider, Variety, 2 May 2022 Chick-fil-A lovers brace yourself – there could soon be some new things on the menu. Leada Gore |, al, 25 Apr. 2022 Apple stock has declined by about 8% year-to-date, due to the broader sell-off in technology stocks and growth names as investors brace for higher interest rates this year. Trefis Team, Forbes, 22 Apr. 2022 The Tunnel Fire, burning roughly 14 miles north of Flagstaff, has grown to over 20,000 acres as firefighters brace for increasingly windy conditions expected Friday. Lorraine Taylor, Fox News, 22 Apr. 2022 That's not to say that viewers should brace for a morose hour; in fact, the episode teems with frivolity and mystery, too, as Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson) and Madison (Caitlin Thompson) try to sleuth out whom Kevin spent the previous night with. Dan Snierson,, 19 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In the Midwest, Kansas and Missouri residents brace for a treacherous wintry mix ahead of the morning commute, with more snow expected for the region. Aya Elamroussi, CNN, 11 Mar. 2022 Russians brace for deadly conflict, economic hardship. Laura L. Davis, USA TODAY, 22 Feb. 2022 Ree also mentioned Ladd's appearance at their daughter Alex's wedding in May 2021, during which Ladd briefly removed his neck brace to walk her down the aisle. Abigail Adams,, 1 Apr. 2022 Earlier this year, researchers demonstrated that the Thwaites’ eastern ice sheet is becoming unstuck from its mountaintop brace. Jeremy Kahn, Fortune, 15 Dec. 2021 Blanco played a significant part in the Timbers’ second-half-of-the-season turnaround, while his brace against Minnesota United on Nov. 21 helped kick off Portland’s postseason run. Portland Timbers And Thorns Fc, oregonlive, 11 Dec. 2021 All of this comes as Ukraine and its allies brace for possible aggression from Russia. Aj Willingham, CNN, 9 Dec. 2021 Then, Larin closed out November with his brace against Mexico. Pat Brennan, The Enquirer, 17 Nov. 2021 With no time to wait for the bomb squad, Palmer ditches his wrist brace to operate, with Parker refusing to leave Beesbo's side. Sara Netzley,, 19 Oct. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'brace.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of brace


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 6


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4

History and Etymology for brace


Middle English, from Anglo-French bracer to embrace, from brace


Middle English, clasp, pair, from Anglo-French, pair of arms, pair, support, from Latin bracchia, plural of bracchium arm, from Greek brachiōn, from comparative of brachys short — more at brief

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The first known use of brace was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

19 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Brace.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for brace


\ ˈbrās How to pronounce brace (audio) \
braced; bracing

Kids Definition of brace

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to make strong, firm, or steady I stood up, bracing my body as well as I could against the wind.— Katherine Paterson, Jacob Have I Loved
2 : to get ready They braced for a storm.



Kids Definition of brace (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : something that adds strength or support a neck brace
2 braces plural : a usually wire device worn to correct the position of teeth
3 : one of a pair of marks { } used to connect words or items to be considered together
4 : two of a kind a brace of quail
5 : a tool with a U-shaped bend that is used to turn wood-boring bits


\ ˈbrās How to pronounce brace (audio) \

Medical Definition of brace

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an appliance that gives support to movable parts (as a joint or a fractured bone), to weak muscles (as in paralysis), or to strained ligaments (as of the lower back)
2 braces plural : an orthodontic appliance usually of metallic wire that is used especially to exert pressure to straighten misaligned teeth and that is not removable by the patient


transitive verb
braced; bracing

Medical Definition of brace (Entry 2 of 2)

: to furnish or support with a brace

More from Merriam-Webster on brace

Nglish: Translation of brace for Spanish Speakers

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


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