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air brake

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noun
  1. a brake or system of brakes operated by compressed air.
  2. Aeronautics. a device for reducing the air speed of an aircraft by increasing its drag.
  3. a device for stopping the sails of a windmill by disrupting the flow of air around them.
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Origin of air brake

An Americanism dating back to 1870–75
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for air brake

Historical Examples

  • There was perfect silence but for the pumping of the air-brake on the engine.

    Red Men and White

    Owen Wister

  • Page 57, changed "air-brakes consists" to "air-brake consists."

  • Callahan was seventeen, with hair like a sunset, and a mind quick as an air-brake.

    The Nerve of Foley

    Frank H. Spearman

  • Written by an Air-Brake Instructor who knows just what is needed.

    Aviation Engines

    Victor Wilfred Pag

  • Endorsed and used by air-brake instructors and examiners on nearly every railroad in the United States.

    Aviation Engines

    Victor Wilfred Pag


British Dictionary definitions for air brake

air brake

noun
  1. a brake operated by compressed air, esp in heavy vehicles and trains
  2. Also called: dive brake an articulated flap or small parachute for reducing the speed of an aircraft
  3. a rotary fan or propeller connected to a shaft to reduce its speed
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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012