- a device for slowing or stopping a vehicle or other moving mechanism by the absorption or transfer of the energy of momentum, usually by means of friction.
- brakes, the drums, shoes, tubes, levers, etc., making up such a device on a vehicle.
- anything that has a slowing or stopping effect.
- Also called brakeman. a member of a bobsled team who operates the brake.
- Also called breaker. Textiles. a tool or machine for breaking up flax or hemp, to separate the fiber.
- Also called press brake. a machine for bending sheet metal to a desired shape.
- Obsolete. an old instrument of torture.
- to slow or stop by means of or as if by means of a brake.
- to furnish with brakes.
- to process (flax or hemp) by crushing it in a brake.
- to use or run a brake.
- to stop or slow upon being braked.
- to run a hoisting machine.
Origin of brake1
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- simple past tense of break.
Examples from the Web for braking
That braking time is why we need to get started sooner rather than later.Megan McArdle on Why We Need to Jump Off the Fiscal Cliff
November 30, 2012
The ship drove down toward the planet, braking fiercely now.Victory
Lester del Rey
Telemeter control from Alpine fired the first braking rockets.
It was too high, moving too fast despite the lavish waste of braking power.
All at once his hands and mind were busy with the braking rockets, dials, meters.
Walt's car, braking shrilly, hurtled past her and was lost in the night.Earth Alert!
- a machine or tool for crushing or breaking flax or hemp to separate the fibres
- Also called: brake harrow a heavy harrow for breaking up clods
- short for brake van
- short for shooting brake
- an open four-wheeled horse-drawn carriageAlso spelt: break
- an obsolete word for rack 1 (def. 4)
- to slow down or cause to slow down, by or as if by using a brake
- (tr) to crush or break up using a brake
- an area of dense undergrowth, shrubs, brushwood, etc; thicket
- archaic, mainly biblical a past tense of break
Word Origin and History for braking
mid-15c., "instrument for crushing or pounding," from Middle Dutch braeke "flax brake," from breken "to break" (see break (v.)). The word was applied to many crushing implements and to the ring through the nose of a draught ox. It was influenced in sense by Old French brac, a form of bras "an arm," thus "a lever or handle," which was being used in English from late 14c., and applied to "a bridle or curb" from early 15c. One or the other or both took up the main modern meaning of "stopping device for a wheel," first attested 1772.
kind of fern, early 14c.; see bracken.
"to apply a brake to a wheel," 1868, from brake (n.1). Earlier, "to beat flax" (late 14c.). Related: Braked; braking.