Definitions

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

  • n. A device that holds or fastens two or more parts together or in place; a clamp.
  • n. A device, such as a supporting beam in a building or a connecting wire or rope, that steadies or holds something else erect.
  • n. Chiefly British Suspenders.
  • n. An orthopedic appliance used to support, align, or hold a bodily part in the correct position.
  • n. A dental appliance constructed of bands and wires that is fixed to the teeth to correct irregular alignment. Often used in the plural.
  • n. An extremely stiff, erect posture.
  • n. A cause or source of renewed physical or spiritual vigor.
  • n. A protective pad strapped to the bow arm of an archer.
  • n. Nautical A rope by which a yard is swung and secured on a square-rigged ship.
  • n. A cranklike handle with an adjustable aperture at one end for securing and turning a bit.
  • n. Music A leather loop that slides to change the tension on the cord of a drum.
  • n. Music A vertical line, usually accompanied by the symbol {, connecting two or more staffs.
  • n. Music A set of staffs connected in this way.
  • n. A symbol, { or }, enclosing two or more lines of text or listed items to show that they are considered as a unit.
  • n. Mathematics Either of a pair of symbols, { }, used to indicate aggregation or to clarify the grouping of quantities when parentheses and square brackets have already been used. Also called bracket.
  • n. A pair of like things: three brace of partridges.
  • transitive v. To furnish with a brace.
  • transitive v. To support or hold steady with or as if with a brace; reinforce.
  • transitive v. To prepare or position so as to be ready for impact or danger: Union members braced themselves for a confrontation with management.
  • transitive v. To confront with questions or requests.
  • transitive v. To increase the tension of.
  • transitive v. To invigorate; stimulate: "The freshness of the September morning inspired and braced him” ( Thomas Hardy).
  • transitive v. Nautical To turn (the yards of a ship) by the braces.
  • intransitive v. To get ready; make preparations.
  • brace up To summon one's strength or endurance.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Armor for the arm; vambrace.
  • n. A measurement of length, originally representing a person's outstretched arms.
  • n. A curved instrument or handle of iron or wood, for holding and turning bits, etc.; a bitstock.
  • n. That which holds anything tightly or supports it firmly; a bandage or a prop.
  • n. A cord, ligament, or rod, for producing or maintaining tension
  • n. A thong used to regulate the tension of a drum.
  • n. A pair, a couple; originally used of dogs, and later of animals generally and then other things, but rarely human persons. (The plural in this sense is unchanged.) In (UK) use (as plural), this is a particularly common reference to game birds.
  • n. A piece of material used to transmit, or change the direction of, weight or pressure; any one of the pieces, in a frame or truss, which divide the structure into triangular parts. It may act as a tie, or as a strut, and serves to prevent distortion of the structure, and transverse strains in its members. A boiler brace is a diagonal stay, connecting the head with the shell.
  • n. A rope reeved through a block at the end of a yard, by which the yard is moved horizontally; also, a rudder gudgeon.
  • n. The mouth of a shaft.
  • n. Straps or bands to sustain trousers; suspenders.
  • n. A system of wires, brackets, and elastic bands used to correct crooked teeth or to reduce overbite.
  • n. Two goals scored by one player in a game.
  • v. To prepare for something bad, as an impact or blow.
  • v. To swing round the yards of a square rigged ship, using braces, to present a more efficient sail surface to the direction of the wind
  • v. To stop someone for questioning, usually said of police
  • v. To confront with questions, demands or requests

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. That which holds anything tightly or supports it firmly; a bandage or a prop.
  • n. A cord, ligament, or rod, for producing or maintaining tension, as a cord on the side of a drum.
  • n. The state of being braced or tight; tension.
  • n. A piece of material used to transmit, or change the direction of, weight or pressure; any one of the pieces, in a frame or truss, which divide the structure into triangular parts. It may act as a tie, or as a strut, and serves to prevent distortion of the structure, and transverse strains in its members. A boiler brace is a diagonal stay, connecting the head with the shell.
  • n. A vertical curved line connecting two or more words or lines, which are to be taken together; thus, boll, bowl; or, in music, used to connect staves.
  • n. A rope reeved through a block at the end of a yard, by which the yard is moved horizontally; also, a rudder gudgeon.
  • n. A curved instrument or handle of iron or wood, for holding and turning bits, etc.; a bitstock.
  • n. A pair; a couple; ; now rarely applied to persons, except familiarly or with some contempt.
  • n. Straps or bands to sustain trousers; suspenders.
  • n. Harness; warlike preparation.
  • n. Armor for the arm; vantbrace.
  • n. The mouth of a shaft.
  • transitive v. To furnish with braces; to support; to prop.
  • transitive v. To draw tight; to tighten; to put in a state of tension; to strain; to strengthen.
  • transitive v. To bind or tie closely; to fasten tightly.
  • transitive v. To place in a position for resisting pressure; to hold firmly.
  • transitive v. To move around by means of braces.
  • intransitive v. To get tone or vigor; to rouse one's energies; -- with up.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A prop or support; specifically, in architecture, a piece of timber placed near and across the angles in the frame of a building in order to strengthen it. When used to support a rafter it is called a strut.
  • n. That which holds two or more things firmly together; a cincture or bandage.
  • n. A pair; a couple: as, a brace of ducks: used of persons only with a shade of contempt or colloquially.
  • n. A thick strap by which a carriage-body is suspended from C-springs.
  • n. In printing, a vertical double-curved line, used to connect two or more lines: thus, , or two or more staves in music.
  • n. A leather band placed about the cords of a drum and sliding upon them: used to raise or lower the tone by increasing or lessening the tension of the cords: as, “the braces of the war drum,”
  • n. plural Straps passing over the shoulders to sustain the trousers; suspenders.
  • n. A device for supporting a weak back, curved shoulders, etc.
  • n. Nautical: One of the ropes fastened to the yards of a ship, one to each yard-arm, which, reaching to the deck, enable the yards to be swung about horizontally. They also help the yards to support the strain caused by the wind on the sails. plural Straps of brass or metal castings fastened on the stern-post, to receive the pintles by which the rudder is hung.
  • n. A defense or protection for the arm; specifically, one used in archery. Same as bracer, 2.
  • n. State of defense.
  • n. The state of being braced; tension; tightness.
  • n. An arm (of the sea).
  • n. A curved instrument of iron or wood for holding and turning boring-tools, etc.; a bit-stock.
  • n. A wooden rod with spiked ends, used to support scenery in a theater.
  • n. plural The leather slides on the cords of a snare-drum, by which the tension of the head is varied
  • To clasp or grasp; embrace; hold firmly.
  • To bind or tie closely; fit or secure by ties; bandage; strap.
  • To string or bend (a bow) by putting the eye of the string in the upper nock preparatory to shooting.
  • To make tense; strain up; increase the tension, tone, or vigor of; strengthen: used both literally and figuratively: as, to brace the nerves.
  • To fix in the position of a brace; hold firmly in place: used reflexively: as, to brace one's self against a post or a crowd.
  • To furnish with, or support or prop by, braces: as, to brace a building or a falling wall.
  • Nautical, to swing or turn around (the yards of a ship) by means of the braces.
  • In writing and printing, to unite or connect by a brace, as two or more lines, staves of music, etc.
  • To increase the tension, tone, or vigor of: often used intransitively with the object understood.
  • n. In mining, the flooring around the mouth of a shaft.
  • n. In any frame, a stiff piece, as a bar or strip, put in to prevent a parallelogram or the like from changing its shape under pressure or strain.
  • n. Same as brace-head.
  • n. A short, thick bar lying above the suture between two pyramids in the dental apparatus of Echinus.
  • n. In saddlery, the short strap which connects the hip-strap and the breeching-body.
  • n. An old measure of weight. A Hurley brace was equal to 4 cwt.
  • n. In mining, a platform at the top of a shaft on which miners stand to work the tackle.

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

  • n. either of two punctuation marks ({ or }) used to enclose textual material
  • n. a carpenter's tool having a crank handle for turning and a socket to hold a bit for boring
  • v. support by bracing
  • n. elastic straps that hold trousers up (usually used in the plural)
  • v. support or hold steady and make steadfast, with or as if with a brace
  • n. a rope on a square-rigged ship that is used to swing a yard about and secure it
  • v. cause to be alert and energetic
  • n. a set of two similar things considered as a unit
  • n. an appliance that corrects dental irregularities
  • n. a structural member used to stiffen a framework
  • n. two items of the same kind
  • v. prepare (oneself) for something unpleasant or difficult
  • n. a support that steadies or strengthens something else

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French, the two arms, from Vulgar Latin *bracia, from Latin brācchia, pl. of brācchium, arm, from Greek brakhīōn, upper arm. V., partly from Old French bracier, from Old French brace, the two arms.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French brace ("arm"), from Latin bracchia, the nominative and accusative plural of Latin bracchium ("arm"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • Oh. Brace as in a pair of something. Not my best day with a crossword puzzle.

    October 25, 2011

  • July 23, 2008

  • This correspondence was prohibited before, and that, to the daughter, in the strongest terms: but yet carried on by both: although a brace of impeccables, and please ye.

    Lovelace to Belford, Clarissa by Samuel Richardson

    December 10, 2007

  • Whoops... most of the conversation about those meanings has been taking place on John's list.

    December 2, 2007

  • One of those words that has sooo many meanings.

    December 1, 2007