Definitions

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

  • n. Slang An opportunity to achieve wealth or success; a prize or reward: "missed the brass ring of American success” ( Lewis H. Lapham).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Figuratively, a prize or goal. Often used with respect to employment goals e.g. promotion, better job, etc.

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

  • n. a rich opportunity or a prize

Etymologies

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Examples

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Comments

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  • Has a nice Wikipedia article.

    August 19, 2011

  • Brass Ring. When riding an old fashioned Merry-Go-Round, carousel, the rider could reach out to a device that held metal rings. The rider would catch one at a time with his index finger. Every 100 or so rings, a brass ring would show up. If you caught the "Brass Ring" you received a free ride. Thus, "going for the Brass Ring."

    Regular steel rings were thrown at a canvas target to be retrieved and reloaded again. The practice ended with the advent of personal injury lawsuits for riders who fell off reaching for the brass ring and/or loss of too many index fingers. Also I imagine too many rings were stolen.

    May 16, 2009