bracket

1 of 2

noun

brack·​et ˈbra-kət How to pronounce bracket (audio)
1
: an overhanging member that projects from a structure (such as a wall) and is usually designed to support a vertical load or to strengthen an angle
2
: a fixture (as for holding a lamp) projecting from a wall or column
3
a
: one of a pair of marks [ ] used in writing and printing to enclose matter or in mathematics and logic as signs of aggregation

called also square bracket

b
: one of the pair of marks 〈 〉 used to enclose matter

called also angle bracket

4
: a section of a continuously numbered or graded series (such as age ranges or income levels)
5
: a pairing of opponents in an elimination tournament

bracket

2 of 2

verb

bracketed; bracketing; brackets

transitive verb

1
a
: to place within or as if within brackets
editorial comments are bracketed
news stories bracketed by commercials
b
: to eliminate from consideration
bracket off politics
c
: to extend around so as to encompass : include
test pressures … which bracket virtually the entire range of passenger-car tire pressures Consumer Reports
2
: to furnish or fasten with brackets
3
: to put in the same category or group
bracketed in a tie for third
4
a
: to get the range on (a target) by firing over and short
b
: to establish the limits of
bracketed the problem neatly
c
: to take photographs of at more than one exposure in order to ensure that the desired exposure is obtained

Example Sentences

Noun The shelf is held up with two brackets. There are wall brackets in the garage for the rakes and shovels. She is taller than average for her age bracket. He earned enough to put him in a higher tax bracket. She is now in a lower income bracket than before. Verb I wouldn't exactly bracket your paintings with those of Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
The Florida High School Athletic Association revealed its football playoff bracket Sunday morning, with Palm Beach Central (4M), St. Thomas Aquinas (3M), American Heritage (2M) and Chaminade-Madonna (1M) grabbing the top seeds in their regions. Gary Curreri, Sun Sentinel, 6 Nov. 2022 Consider your tax bracket when deciding between Traditional or Roth. Kaitlyn Koterbski, Fortune, 4 Nov. 2022 This month, the oldest players received an honorary gold medal at the Huntsman World Senior Games in Utah for creating its first 79+ age bracket in women’s softball. Sarah Matusek, The Christian Science Monitor, 28 Oct. 2022 In Round 1 of our Best TV bracket, the results that surprised our criticWhat’s the best TV show of the last 50 years? Matthew Gilbert, BostonGlobe.com, 26 Oct. 2022 Prices in the Sonoma Valley and Napa are a little out of our income bracket, but there are some interesting vineyard sites in the Sierra Foothills. Kristine M. Kierzek, Journal Sentinel, 20 Oct. 2022 Inflation means your tax bracket could soon change. CBS News, 19 Sep. 2022 Hawaii will play Curacao on Sunday in the Little League World Series championship following each team winning its bracket Saturday. Tim Brown | The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, 28 Aug. 2022 The tax on your gains can fluctuate with your tax bracket. Bob Carlson, Forbes, 26 Aug. 2022
Verb
The park is home to some extraordinarily large iguanas, but also an awe-inspiring collection of massive baobab trees, especially the two that bracket a south entrance to the park near Dr. King’s display. Ben Crandell, Sun Sentinel, 2 Oct. 2022 The Hawks will be using a box-plus-one zone defense, in which four defenders bracket the slot and the fifth defender chases. Phil Thompson, Chicago Tribune, 27 Sep. 2022 The conventional wisdom at the time was that personality was fairly fixed from an early age and that personality tests, which ignored the body, could largely bracket one’s range of leadership. Ginny Whitelaw, Forbes, 2 July 2022 The story and the colors are used to bracket the beginning and end credits of the documentary. The Salt Lake Tribune, 9 June 2022 In contrast to such provocateurs as Lars von Trier or Nicolas Winding Refn, who bracket their cinematic endurance tests in compulsory irony, Cronenberg is in some senses a peculiarly earnest filmmaker. Adam Nayman, The New Yorker, 3 June 2022 The solar eclipses of 1961 and 1999, both observable in Serbia, bracket the events explored in the lyrical imagery of Nataša Urban’s debut feature-length documentary. Jessica Kiang, Variety, 12 Apr. 2022 His paintings bracket three compelling canvases by James Little, whose work in geometric abstraction—executed in oils mixed with beeswax—hinges on its feeling of freedom. Marley Marius, Vogue, 2 Apr. 2022 Western officials can’t say for certain how an attack on Ukraine might unfold by the more than 100,000 Russian troops that now bracket the country on three sides. James Marson, WSJ, 12 Feb. 2022 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Noun

perhaps from Middle French braguette codpiece, from diminutive of brague breeches, from Old Occitan braga, from Latin braca, of Celtic origin — more at breech

First Known Use

Noun

1574, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1836, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of bracket was in 1574

Dictionary Entries Near bracket

Cite this Entry

“Bracket.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bracket. Accessed 30 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

bracket 1 of 2

noun

brack·​et ˈbrak-ət How to pronounce bracket (audio)
1
: a support for a shelf or other weight usually attached to a wall
2
: a short wall shelf
3
a
: one of a pair of marks [ ] used to enclose words or mathematical symbols to be taken together

called also square bracket

b
: one of a pair of marks 〈 〉
used to enclose written or printed matter

called also angle bracket

4
: class entry 1 sense 3a, group
especially : one of a series of groups sorted according to income
5
: a pairing of opponents in an elimination tournament

bracket

2 of 2

verb

1
: to place within or as if within brackets
2
: to put into the same class : associate

More from Merriam-Webster on bracket

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