brake 1[breyk] SynonymsExamplesWord Origin noun
- a device for slowing or stopping a vehicle or other moving mechanism by the absorption or transfer of the energy of momentum, usually by means of friction.
- brakes, the drums, shoes, tubes, levers, etc., making up such a device on a vehicle.
- anything that has a slowing or stopping effect.
- Also called . a member of a bobsled team who operates the brake.
- Also called . Textiles. a tool or machine for breaking up flax or hemp, to separate the fiber.
- Also called press brake. a machine for bending sheet metal to a desired shape.
- Obsolete. an old instrument of torture.
verb (used with object), braked, brak·ing.
- to slow or stop by means of or as if by means of a brake.
- to furnish with brakes.
- to process (flax or hemp) by crushing it in a brake.
verb (used without object), braked, brak·ing.
- to use or run a brake.
- to stop or slow upon being braked.
- to run a hoisting machine.
Origin of brake 1 1400–50; late Middle English Middle Dutch, Middle Low German; akin toRelated formsbrake·less, adjectiveSynonyms for brake 8. , , , ; , . brake 2[breyk] noun
- a place overgrown with bushes, brambles, or cane.
Origin of brake 2 1400–50; late Middle English (in phrase brake of fern thicket of fern) Middle Low German brake thicket brake 3[breyk] noun
- any of several large or coarse ferns, especially the bracken, Pteridium aquilinum.
Origin of brake 3 1275–1325; Middle English brake, probably by back formation from braken, taken as plural brake 4[breyk] verb Archaic.
- simple past tense of .
Related Words for brakes, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Examples from the Web for brakes Contemporary Examples of brakes
The woman allegedly decided to hit her brakes suddenly and veer toward an exit, losing Tirico.
July 1, 2014
But she pumped the brakes when she found out she was pregnant with her second daughter.
May 9, 2014
“I just slammed on the brakes and damn near had an accident,” says the legendary singer, dancer and actress.
January 15, 2014
Both the non-handshake and his speech might be seen as Rouhani tapping the brakes, not slamming them.
September 25, 2013
That would be the job of the brakes, which cannot actually stop hard-packed snow from being, y’know, slippery.
March 12, 2013
Historical Examples of brakes
At this juncture the brakes began to shriek and grind upon the wheels.
Louis Joseph Vance
Philip drew a long breath: there was a cloud of dust; the women in the brakes were laughing.
The truck came to a jarring stop as the driver jammed on the brakes.
He sounded two long whistle blasts as a signal to throw off brakes.
Tom had shut off the engine and applied the brakes, as the girls shrieked.
Alice B. Emerson
British Dictionary definitions for brakes brake 1 noun
- (often plural)a device for slowing or stopping a vehicle, wheel, shaft, etc, or for keeping it stationary, esp by means of frictionSee also , , , ,
- (as modifier)the brake pedal
- a machine or tool for crushing or breaking flax or hemp to separate the fibres
- Also called: brake harrow a heavy harrow for breaking up clods
- short for
- short for
- an open four-wheeled horse-drawn carriageAlso spelt: break
- an obsolete word for
- to slow down or cause to slow down, by or as if by using a brake
- (tr) to crush or break up using a brake
Derived Formsbrakeless, adjectiveWord Origin for brake C18: from Middle Dutch braeke; related to breken to break brake 2 noun
- an area of dense undergrowth, shrubs, brushwood, etc; thicket
Word Origin for brake Old English bracu; related to Middle Low German brake, Old French bracon branch brake 3 noun
- another name for See also
brake 4 verb
- archaic, mainly biblical a past tense of
Word Origin and History for brakes brake n.1
mid-15c., “instrument for crushing or pounding,” from Middle Dutch braeke “flax brake,” from breken “to break” (see(v.)). The word was applied to many crushing implements and to the ring through the nose of a draught ox. It was influenced in sense by Old French brac, a form of bras “an arm,” thus “a lever or handle,” which was being used in English from late 14c., and applied to “a bridle or curb” from early 15c. One or the other or both took up the main modern meaning of “stopping device for a wheel,” first attested 1772.
kind of fern, early 14c.; see.
“to apply a brake to a wheel,” 1868, from(n.1). Earlier, “to beat flax” (late 14c.). Related: Braked; braking.