1. a block of clay hardened by drying in the sun or burning in a kiln, and used for building, paving, etc.: traditionally, in the U.S., a rectangle 2.25 × 3.75 × 8 inches (5.7 × 9.5 × 20.3 cm), red, brown, or yellow in color.
  2. such blocks collectively.
  3. the material of which such blocks are made.
  4. any block or bar having a similar size and shape: a gold brick; an ice-cream brick.
  5. the length of a brick as a measure of thickness, as of a wall: one and a half bricks thick.
  6. Informal. an admirably good or generous person.
  7. Informal. an electronic device that has become completely nonfunctional.

verb (used with object)

  1. to pave, line, wall, fill, or build with brick.
  2. Informal. to cause (an electronic device) to become completely nonfunctional: I bricked my phone while doing the upgrade.


  1. made of, constructed with, or resembling bricks.


  1. drop a brick, to make a social gaffe or blunder, especially an indiscreet remark.
  2. hit the bricks,
    1. to walk the streets, especially as an unemployed or homeless person.
    2. to go on strike: With contract talks stalled, workers are threatening to hit the bricks.

    Also take to the bricks.

  3. make bricks without straw,
    1. to plan or act on a false premise or unrealistic basis.
    2. to create something that will not last: To form governments without the consent of the people is to make bricks without straw.
    3. to perform a task despite the lack of necessary materials.


    1. a rectangular block of clay mixed with sand and fired in a kiln or baked by the sun, used in building construction
    2. (as modifier)a brick house
  1. the material used to make such blocks
  2. any rectangular blocka brick of ice
  3. bricks collectively
  4. informal a reliable, trustworthy, or helpful person
  5. British a child’s building block
  6. short for brick red
  7. drop a brick British informal to make a tactless or indiscreet remark
  8. like a ton of bricks informal (used esp of the manner of punishing or reprimanding someone) with great force; severelywhen he spotted my mistake he came down on me like a ton of bricks

verb (tr)

  1. (usually foll by in, up or over) to construct, line, pave, fill, or wall up with bricksto brick up a window; brick over a patio
  2. slang to attack (a person) with a brick or bricks

n.early 15c., from Old French briche “brick,” probably from a Germanic source akin to Middle Dutch bricke “a tile,” literally “a broken piece,” from the verbal root of break (v.). Meaning “a good, honest fellow” is from 1840, probably on notion of squareness (e.g. fair and square) though most extended senses of brick (and square) applied to persons in English are not meant to be complimentary. Brick wall in the figurative sense of “impenetrable barrier” is from 1886. v.“to wall up with bricks,” 1640s, from brick (n.). Related: Bricked; bricking. In addition to the idioms beginning with brick

  • bricks and mortar
  • bricks shy of a load
  • also see:

  • drop a brick
  • hit the bricks
  • like a cat on a hot brick
  • like a ton of bricks
  • make bricks without straw
  • run into a stone (brick) wall
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