brake

1
[breyk]
||

noun

verb (used with object), braked, brak·ing.

verb (used without object), braked, brak·ing.


Origin of brake

1
1400–50; late Middle English < Middle Dutch, Middle Low German; akin to break
Related formsbrake·less, adjective

Synonyms for brake

brake

2
[breyk]

noun

a place overgrown with bushes, brambles, or cane.

Origin of brake

2
1400–50; late Middle English (in phrase brake of fern thicket of fern) < Middle Low German brake thicket

brake

3
[breyk]

noun

any of several large or coarse ferns, especially the bracken, Pteridium aquilinum.

Origin of brake

3
1275–1325; Middle English brake, probably by back formation from braken bracken, taken as plural

brake

4
[breyk]

verb Archaic.

simple past tense of break.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


Examples from the Web for brakes

Contemporary Examples of brakes

Historical Examples of brakes

  • At this juncture the brakes began to shriek and grind upon the wheels.

    The Black Bag

    Louis Joseph Vance

  • Philip drew a long breath: there was a cloud of dust; the women in the brakes were laughing.

    The Manxman

    Hall Caine

  • The truck came to a jarring stop as the driver jammed on the brakes.

    The Coyote

    James Roberts

  • He sounded two long whistle blasts as a signal to throw off brakes.

    Cab and Caboose

    Kirk Munroe

  • Tom had shut off the engine and applied the brakes, as the girls shrieked.


British Dictionary definitions for brakes

brake

1

noun

  1. (often plural)a device for slowing or stopping a vehicle, wheel, shaft, etc, or for keeping it stationary, esp by means of frictionSee also drum brake, disc brake, hydraulic brake, air brake, handbrake
  2. (as modifier)the brake pedal
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)

verb

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
Derived Formsbrakeless, adjective

Word Origin for brake

C18: from Middle Dutch braeke; related to breken to break

brake

2

noun

an area of dense undergrowth, shrubs, brushwood, etc; thicket

Word Origin for brake

Old English bracu; related to Middle Low German brake, Old French bracon branch

brake

3

noun

another name for bracken (def. 1) See also rock brake

brake

4

verb

archaic, mainly biblical a past tense of break
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

Word Origin and History for brakes

brake

n.1

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.

brake

n.2

kind of fern, early 14c.; see bracken.

brake

v.

"to apply a brake to a wheel," 1868, from brake (n.1). Earlier, "to beat flax" (late 14c.). Related: Braked; braking.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper