Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Marked by flagrant and insolent audacity. See Synonyms at shameless.
  • adj. Having a loud, usually harsh, resonant sound: "sudden brazen clashes of the soldiers' band” ( James Joyce).
  • adj. Made of brass.
  • adj. Resembling brass, as in color or strength.
  • transitive v. To face or undergo with bold self-assurance: brazened out the crisis.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Pertaining to, made of, or resembling brass (in color or strength).
  • adj. Sounding harsh and loud, like brass cymbals or brass instruments.
  • adj. Extremely strong; impenetrable.
  • adj. Shamelessly shocking and offensive; Impudent; barefaced; immodest; or unblushing.
  • v. To carry through in a brazen manner. Generally used with out or through.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Pertaining to, made of, or resembling, brass.
  • adj. Sounding harsh and loud, like resounding brass.
  • adj. Impudent; immodest; shameless; having a front like brass.
  • transitive v. To carry through impudently or shamelessly.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Made of brass: as, a brazen helmet.
  • Pertaining to brass; proceeding from brass.
  • Extremely strong; impenetrable: from brass often serving as a type of strength, impenetrability, and the like: as, “environed with a brazen wall”, Shak., 3 Hen. VI., ii.
  • Impudent; having a front like brass.
  • Also spelled brasen.
  • To behave with insolence or effrontery in regard to: with an indefinite it as object.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. made of or resembling brass (as in color or hardness)
  • v. face with defiance or impudence
  • adj. unrestrained by convention or propriety

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English brasen, made of brass, from Old English bræsen, from bræs, brass.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English brasen, from Old English bræsen ("brazen, of brass"), equivalent to brass +‎ -en (compare golden).

Examples

  • Washington trying 'to dictate its rules' By Dalila Mahdawi Daily BEIRUT: Hizbullah on Tuesday lambasted what it called brazen American interference in Lebanon's Star staff Monday, June 01, 2009 - Powered by ...

    WN.com - Articles related to Hudson will return to Chicago to film ABC special

  • Per the initiative's blueprint, pastors from around the country purported to exercise their freedoms of speech and religion by endorsing political candidates in brazen violation of the current tax code; they then sent those sermons directly to the IRS to tout their civic transgression.

    Stuart Whatley: Pulpit Politicking Returns for 2010 Election Cycle

  • … The Israeli public relations machinery happily presented the disengagement as the end of the occupation, in brazen disregard of the facts.

    Matthew Yglesias » What Other Country

  • The response to the latest setback has been so brazen from the European elite that wants full integration, it proves those involved have passed beyond a point where they might feel the slightest embarrassment about appearing not to be good democrats.

    Archive 2008-06-01

  • "His entire premiership has become an exercise in brazen dishonesty."

    Archive 2008-05-01

  • While neither a student nor faculty favorite - and in brazen defiance of a brusque personal style that rendered him unfit for the job - Dr. Arzt (as he insisted on being called by everyone from students to school board administrators) courageously expanded his activities from mere teaching in teachers union politics.

    The Tail Section » The Ballad of Doctor Arzt

  • There was a little problem with getting all the cameras past the guards and metal detectors at the front doors, but (in brazen violation of polling-place rules) Sharpton accompanied the newly hatched voter down the aisle of the school auditorium and stood proudly by for the cameras as she filled in her ballot and deposited it.

    Pompadour With a Monkey Wrench

  • Despite arrest and torture, opposition activists remain brazen in their dissent.

    How To Kill A Country

  • Even they said that if the North Koreans did something as -- I think the Chinese word was "brazen" -- as conduct an underground test they had to do it.

    CNN Transcript Oct 16, 2006

  • Women instinctively hide much of themselves, & are called brazen huzzies if they don’t.

    Louisa May Alcott

Comments

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  • Seanahan: I think it must be a side effect of your choice of reading. Though it does appear quite often preceding the word "hussy", it is by no means used exclusively in that context. "brazen idol" and "brazen it out" seem about equally common, in my experience.

    April 11, 2009

  • Someone behaving brazenly may also be described as having a brass neck.

    April 11, 2009

  • Yes, madmouth is correct. I remember reading about the "brazen idol" in the Bible tale--but I'd forgotten that meaning until now.

    April 11, 2009

  • This is an interesting word. I've only heard or read it a few times, and it seems to have been always describing the behavior of a women. Is that generally true, or is that a side effect of my reading habits?

    April 11, 2009

  • Really? I hadn't heard that before. That's really interesting.

    April 10, 2009

  • in the archaic sense, merely "made of bronze", like the brazen calf (or brazen idol) in the Bible.

    April 10, 2009

  • See also brassy

    June 17, 2007