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brass tacks

noun, Informal.
the most fundamental considerations; essentials; realities (usually used in the phrase get down to brass tacks).
Origin of brass tacks
First recorded in 1895-1900 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for brass tacks
Historical Examples
  • You mean he buckled right down to brass tacks, and that's what my boy is going to do.

    Americans All Various
  • Before you and I were born it was long-established and it was established on brass tacks.

  • It is easy enough to talk in generalities, much harder sometimes to come to the brass tacks of a situation.

    Our Railroads To-Morrow Edward Hungerford
  • I'll come out of it all right and get down to brass tacks again.

    The Straw Eugene O'Neill
  • In other words, to come right down to brass tacks, you stole one of the diamond cuff-buttons,—gol darn it!

  • You will like "brass tacks" if you like to get somewhere and get there quickly.

    Evening Round Up William Crosbie Hunter
  • He had a chief engineer that was brass tacks from beginning to end.

    The Modern Railroad Edward Hungerford
  • We've got to come alive and forget these ideas and get down to brass tacks.

    El Diablo Brayton Norton
  • Paula made a practice of calling them the pair of “brass tacks.”

  • Now tell me whats all this about, and maybe we can get down to brass tacks.

    Polly and Her Friends Abroad Lillian Elizabeth Roy
British Dictionary definitions for brass tacks

brass tacks

plural noun
(informal) basic realities; hard facts (esp in the phrase get down to brass tacks)
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
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Slang definitions & phrases for brass tacks

brass tacks

Related Terms

down to brass tacks

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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