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

  • transitive v. To bring up (a subject) for discussion or debate.
  • transitive v. To announce: We broached our plans for the new year.
  • transitive v. To pierce in order to draw off liquid: broach a keg of beer.
  • transitive v. To draw off (a liquid) by piercing a hole in a cask or other container.
  • transitive v. To shape or enlarge (a hole) with a tapered, serrated tool.
  • n. A tapered, serrated tool used to shape or enlarge a hole.
  • n. The hole made by such a tool.
  • n. A spit for roasting meat.
  • n. A mason's narrow chisel.
  • n. A gimlet for tapping or broaching casks.
  • n. Variant of brooch.
  • transitive v. Nautical To veer or cause to veer broadside to the wind and waves: tried to keep the boat from broaching to.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A series of chisel points mounted on one piece of steel.
  • n. Alternative spelling of brooch.
  • v. To make a hole in, especially a cask of liquor, and put in a tap in order to draw the liquid.
  • v. To open, to make an opening into; to pierce.
  • v. (figuratively) To begin discussion about (something).
  • v. To be turned sideways to oncoming waves, especially large or breaking waves.
  • v. To cause to turn sideways to oncoming waves, especially large or breaking waves.
  • v. To be overcome or submerged by a wave or surge of water.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A spit.
  • n. An awl; a bodkin; also, a wooden rod or pin, sharpened at each end, used by thatchers.
  • n.
  • n. A tool of steel, generally tapering, and of a polygonal form, with from four to eight cutting edges, for smoothing or enlarging holes in metal; sometimes made smooth or without edges, as for burnishing pivot holes in watches; a reamer. The broach for gun barrels is commonly square and without taper.
  • n. A straight tool with file teeth, made of steel, to be pressed through irregular holes in metal that cannot be dressed by revolving tools; a drift.
  • n. A broad chisel for stonecutting.
  • n. A spire rising from a tower.
  • n. A clasp for fastening a garment. See Brooch.
  • n. A spitlike start, on the head of a young stag.
  • n. The stick from which candle wicks are suspended for dipping.
  • n. The pin in a lock which enters the barrel of the key.
  • transitive v. To spit; to pierce as with a spit.
  • transitive v. To tap; to pierce, as a cask, in order to draw the liquor. Hence: To let out; to shed, as blood.
  • transitive v. To open for the first time, as stores.
  • transitive v. To make public; to utter; to publish first; to put forth; to introduce as a topic of conversation.
  • transitive v. To cause to begin or break out.
  • transitive v. To shape roughly, as a block of stone, by chiseling with a coarse tool.
  • transitive v. To enlarge or dress (a hole), by using a broach.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To spit; pierce as with a spit.
  • To spur.
  • In masonry, to rough-hew.
  • To open for the first time for the purpose of taking out something; more especially, to tap or pierce, as a cask in order to draw the liquor: as, to broach a hogshead.
  • Hence, figuratively To open, as the mouth for utterance.
  • To let out; shed.
  • To state or give expression to for the first time; utter; give out; especially, begin conversation or discussion about; introduce by way of topic: as, to broach a theory or an opinion.
  • To give a start to; set going.
  • n. A spit.
  • n. A spear.
  • n. An awl; a bodkin.
  • n. A spike; a skewer; a sharp stick; specifically, a rod of sallow, hazel, or other tough and pliant wood, sharpened at each end and bent in the middle, used by thatchers to pierce and fix their work.
  • n. A spur.
  • n. A fish-hook.
  • n. A spike or standard for a candle.
  • n. A taper; a torch.
  • n. A spindle; a spool.
  • n. In architecture, formerly, a spire of any kind; now, specifically, as used in some parts of England and by some writers on architecture, a spire which rises directly from the walls of its tower, without parapets and gutters.
  • n. A narrow - pointed chisel used by masons for hewing stones.
  • n. Any tapered boring-bit or drill.
  • n. A straight steel tool with file-teeth for pressing through irregular holes in metal that cannot be dressed by revolving tools.
  • n. That part of the stem of a key which projects beyond the bit or web, and enters a socket in the interior of the lock.
  • n. That pin in a lock which enters the barrel of the key.
  • n. The stick from which candle-wicks are suspended for dipping.
  • n. A gimlet used in opening casks for sampling their contents.
  • n. A fitting for an Argand gas-burner.
  • n. A start, like the end of a spit, on the head of a young stag.
  • n. A pin or clasp to fasten a garment; specifically, an ornamental pin, clasp, or buckle, and especially a breast-pin, of gold, silver, or other metal, attached to the dress or depending from the neck: in this sense now usually spelled brooch (which see).
  • n. An occasional name for the hurdy-gurdy (which see).
  • n. In quarrying, a tool used in a machine-drill to break down the walls between a row of boreholes in order to form a continuous channel. Also called broaching-bit.
  • n. A short-stapled cotton grown in the Broach district of the Bombay Presidency, British India.

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

  • v. bring up a topic for discussion
  • n. a decorative pin worn by women


Middle English brochen, to pierce, probably from broche, pointed weapon or implement, from Old French, from Vulgar Latin *brocca, from Latin broccus, projecting.
Probably from broach1.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
This definition is lacking an etymology or has an incomplete etymology. You can help Wiktionary by giving it a proper etymology. (Wiktionary)
This definition is lacking an etymology or has an incomplete etymology. You can help Wiktionary by giving it a proper etymology. (Wiktionary)


  • BROOCH, or BROACH (from the Fr. _broche_, originally an awl or bodkin; a spit is sometimes called a broach, and hence the phrase "to broach a barrel"; see BROKER), a term now used to denote a clasp or fastener for the dress, provided with a pin, having a hinge or spring at one end, and a catch or loop at the other.

    Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 4, Part 3 "Brescia" to "Bulgaria"

  • There are so many more things to consider in adult life that you just can’t broach from the viewpoint of a teenager or younger.

    The Condescending Review at SF Novelists

  • Vintners tap a cask by broaching it, or enlarging a hole with a boring-bit also called a broach.

    No Uncertain Terms

  • This is called the broach; and it is the only form thus far spoken of wherein the tapering surfaces rise directly from the tower-cornice, without mutilating the tower or violating the pure outlines of the spire.

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 05, No. 27, January, 1860

  • A broach is a rod used for roasting meat or a sharp-pointed tool used for making a hole. blogs

  • Continent under many modifications, one English kind whereof is usually called a "broach," of which you have a beautiful specimen in the new church at Hoole.

    Literary and General Lectures and Essays

  • The more interesting aspect is the use of the term "broach" which in sailing terms refers to the threatened tipping over of a sailboat.

    Denver Post: News: Breaking: Local

  • David Pescovitz, March 2, 2009 12: 22 PM Uh, that would be 'broach' or perhaps more commonly 'brooch'. brooch | brəʊtʃ | noun an ornament fastened to clothing with a hinged pin and catch.

    Boing Boing

  • With both sides looking to make spending cuts, neither has been overly anxious to broach the idea of cutting Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, even though most of those involved acknowledge those programs need to be on the table in order to make significant cuts.

    The GOP's entitlements problem

  • Tea Party opposition to his health care legislation has forced President Obama to broach the possibility of allowing states to opt out of elements of the law, including the mandate to purchase insurance; that does not mean that all health care programs are at risk of being amended or repealed.

    Robert David Jaffee: NAMI And Brotman Partner Up On Free Classes


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  • Related etymologically to 'brooch', 'broccoli', and 'broker'. The Latin root is brocc- "spike, piercing instrument". Huh, I always imagined 'broach' was just an ablaut variant of 'break': to broach a cask is to break into it. But no, broaching is open with an instrument called a broach; a brooch is an ornament fastened by a broach; a broker was originally one who broached, a tapster, then any retailer or dealer; and broccoli is named for its little spikes or shoots.

    March 6, 2009