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

  • n. A yellowish alloy of copper and zinc, sometimes including small amounts of other metals, but usually 67 percent copper and 33 percent zinc.
  • n. Ornaments, objects, or utensils made of this alloy.
  • n. Music The section of a band or an orchestra composed of brass instruments. Often used in the plural.
  • n. Music Brass instruments or their players considered as a group. Often used in the plural.
  • n. A memorial plaque or tablet made of brass, especially one on which an effigy is incised.
  • n. A bushing or similar lining for a bearing, made from a copper alloy.
  • n. Informal Bold self-assurance; effrontery.
  • n. Slang High-ranking military officers or other high officials.
  • n. Chiefly British Money.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A metallic alloy of copper and zinc used in many industrial and plumbing applications.
  • n. A class of wind instruments, usually made of metal (such as brass), that use vibrations of the player's lips to produce sound.
  • n. Spent shell casings (usually made of brass); the part of the cartridge left over after bullets have been fired.
  • n. The colour of brass.
  • n. High-ranking officers.
  • n. A brave or foolhardy attitude.
  • n. Money.
  • n. Inferior composition.
  • adj. Of the colour of brass.
  • adj. Impertinent, bold: brazen.
  • adj. Bad, annoying; as wordplay applied especially to brass instruments.
  • adj. Of inferior composition.
  • n. Brass in pocket; money.
  • n. A brass nail; a prostitute.
  • adj. Brass monkey; cold.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An alloy (usually yellow) of copper and zinc, in variable proportion, but often containing two parts of copper to one part of zinc. It sometimes contains tin, and rarely other metals.
  • n. A journal bearing, so called because frequently made of brass. A brass is often lined with a softer metal, when the latter is generally called a white metal lining. See Axle box, Journal Box, and Bearing.
  • n. Coin made of copper, brass, or bronze.
  • n. Impudence; a brazen face.
  • n. Utensils, ornaments, or other articles of brass.
  • n. A brass plate engraved with a figure or device. Specifically, one used as a memorial to the dead, and generally having the portrait, coat of arms, etc.
  • n. Lumps of pyrites or sulphuret of iron, the color of which is near to that of brass.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An important alloy, consisting essentially of copper and zinc.
  • n. A utensil, ornament, or other article made of brass: as, to clean the brasses on board a ship.
  • n. In machinery, a pillow, bearing, collar, box, or bush, supporting a gudgeon: so called because frequently made of brass.
  • n. In medieval archœol., a funeral monument consisting of a plate of brass, usually of rectangular shape and often of large size, incised with an effigy, coats of arms, inscriptions, and frequently accessory ornament.
  • n. A brass musical instrument, or, collectively, the brass instruments in a band or an orchestra.
  • n. Money.
  • n. In coal-mining, iron pyrites.
  • n. Excessive assurance; impudence; brazenness: as, he has brass enough for anything.
  • Made or composed of brass; pertaining to or resembling brass; brazen; brassy.
  • To cover or coat over with brass.
  • n. Nautical, same as brace.
  • n. A continental European measure of length, equal to the extended arms or more; a fathom.
  • n.

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

  • n. the section of a band or orchestra that plays brass instruments
  • n. an ornament or utensil made of brass
  • n. a wind instrument that consists of a brass tube (usually of variable length) that is blown by means of a cup-shaped or funnel-shaped mouthpiece
  • n. an alloy of copper and zinc
  • n. the persons (or committees or departments etc.) who make up a body for the purpose of administering something
  • n. a memorial made of brass
  • n. impudent aggressiveness


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

Middle English bras, from Old English bræs.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old English bræs.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

By ellipsis



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  • insensibility, sin, immutable decrees of God, strength

    July 24, 2009

  • " To me he appears the most impudent piece of brass that ever spoke with a tongue."

    Goldsmith, She Stoops, III

    January 11, 2007