Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[brat] /bræt/
a child, especially an annoying, spoiled, or impolite child (usually used in contempt or irritation).
Origin of brat
1495-1505; perhaps transferred use of brat rag, Old English bratt cloak < Celtic; compare Irish brat mantle, cloak
Related forms
brattish, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for brat
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In those days, "brat" was the general name for little folks.

    Welsh Fairy Tales William Elliott Griffis
  • His son, a brat of about fifteen, was accustomed to ride over to visit us.

    A Hero of Our Time M. Y. Lermontov
  • There was a brat for you who laughed at words she ought not to understand!

    L'Assommoir Emile Zola
  • And 'twas easy to see what she'd been through with Cousin Harriet and that brat.

    The Depot Master Joseph C. Lincoln
  • "I know it, dad; but I'll try to get along without it," replied the brat.

British Dictionary definitions for brat


a child, esp one who is ill-mannered or unruly: used contemptuously or playfully
Word Origin
C16: perhaps special use of earlier brat rag, from Old English bratt cloak, of Celtic origin; related to Old Irish bratt cloth, brat²


(Northern English, dialect) an apron or overall
Word Origin
from Old English brat cloak; related to Old Irish bratt cloth used to cover the body
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for brat

c.1500, slang, "beggar's child," originally northern, Midlands and western England dialect word for "makeshift or ragged garment;" probably the same word as Old English bratt "cloak," which is from a Celtic source (cf. Old Irish bratt "cloak, cloth"). The modern meaning is perhaps from notion of "child's apron." Hollywood Brat Pack (modeled on 1950s Rat Pack) is from 1985.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for brat

brat 1


A child, esp an obnoxious or troublesome one

[1505+; origin unknown]

brat 2


Bratwurst, a kind of sausage: a neighborhood more attuned to baseball, brats, and beer (1980s+)

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

Word of the Day

Nearby words for brat

Word Value for brat

Scrabble Words With Friends