Definitions

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

  • n. Small, usually ornamental objects valued for their antiquity, rarity, originality, or sentimental associations.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Small ornaments and other miscellaneous items of little value.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Miscellaneous curiosities and works of decorative art, considered collectively.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Objects having a certain interest or value from their rarity, antiquity, or the like, as old furniture, plate, china, and curiosities; articles of virtu; ornaments which may be pretty or curious, but have no intrinsic claim to rank as serious works of art. The term is often used with a sense of depreciation.

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

  • n. miscellaneous curios

Etymologies

French bric-à-brac, expressive of confusion.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Borrowing from French bric-à-brac (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The cafe is dark with wood panels, a low bar with a mirrored rear wall, loads of ancient bric-a-brac, and pictures and maps of old Spandau, which was already a sizable town back when Berlin was a mere pup of a village.

    Around Berlin in 80 beers

  • There are two large main bars with nooks and crannies leading off, all cluttered with ancient bric-a-brac.

    Around Berlin in 80 beers

  • They were forced to commute from building to building in bright orange inflatable life rafts taken from the airplanes, rowing past floating office equipment and assorted military bric-a-brac.

    A Covert Affair

  • This is not some cheesy fair for selling bric-a-brac.

    Fun Event in Chapala at the Yacht Club

  • And besides, it did not seem reasonable that he should be right — he who had stood, so short a time before, in that same living room, blushing and awkward, acknowledging his introduction, looking fearfully about him at the bric-a-brac his swinging shoulders threatened to break, asking how long since

    Chapter 24

  • From its original LP release in 1973, Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" has ballooned to the six audio and video discs plus bric-a-brac such as marbles and replica tour tickets included in the recently released "Immersion Box Set" version of the album.

    Snapshot

  • And seeing those rooms through her eyes, with their rugs and fireplaces and bric-a-brac, Alessandro grimaced and bowed his head.

    Three Stages of Amazement

  • PLUS DON'T MISS San Telmo Market | Browse this flea market for high-class bric-a-brac. mercadodesantelmo.com Recoleta Cemetery | Grand old families and military heroes lie entombed in mini pantheons of every imaginable architectural style.

    Buenos Aires

  • Once an enclave of inexpensive clothing emporiums and burrito stands, it's now a crowded pastiche of ethnic cafes, peppered with stores offering out-of-print books and hand-made bric-a-brac, all colorfully cloaked within this vibrant Latin community.

    Red Room: Pam Tent: Home Is Where You Hang Your Hat: Why San Francisco Is It for Me

  • France grew up on a farm much like the one she describes, and paints a picture of bucolic pastures concealing a stagnant community of unresolved resentments where the same pieces of bric-a-brac circulate the jumble sales and the postmistress runs a secret information network to rival that of any South American dictator.

    Hill Farm by Miranda France – review

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