[ breyk-muhn ]

noun,plural brake·men.
  1. a railroad worker who assists the conductor in the operation of a train.

Origin of brakeman

First recorded in 1825–35; brake1 + -man Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use brakeman in a sentence

  • It is not given to brakemen, as it is to poets, to show to the world as it passes by that their ideals are beautiful.

    The Voice of the Machines | Gerald Stanley Lee
  • Nearest their homes—everywhere—to train for Firemen, Brakemen; average wages $150-$200 monthly.

  • As the train had only recently been made up and few passengers were expected, there were only one or two brakemen waiting.

    Sister Carrie | Theodore Dreiser
  • "We will watch and see that he don't slide off at the next station," remarked one of the brakemen.

    Frontier Boys in Frisco | Wyn Roosevelt
  • The switchmen and the brakemen were willing and anxious to unite with the Brotherhood.

British Dictionary definitions for brakeman


/ (ˈbreɪkmən) /

nounplural -men
  1. US and Canadian a crew member of a goods or passenger train. His duties include controlling auxiliary braking power and inspecting the train

  2. the person at the back of a two- or four-man bobsleigh, who operates the brake

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