• synonyms


verb (used without object)
  1. to hold up and toss the head, as a horse when spurning the bit or prancing.
  2. to bridle; restrain.
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Origin of brank

1500–50; (def 1) of uncertain origin; possibly related to German prangen “to adorn oneself, brag”; compare Middle High German brangen, brankieren; possibly 1550-1600; (def 2) of uncertain origin; probably a back formation from Scots branks “a bridle for restraining a scold”
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for brank

Historical Examples of brank

  • We are indebted to Mr. Alfred Burton for a drawing of the Macclesfield brank.

    Bygone Punishments

    William Andrews

  • Kirkham had its brank for scolds, in addition to a ducking-stool.

    Bygone Punishments

    William Andrews

  • At the north country town of Morpeth a brank is still preserved.

    Bygone Punishments

    William Andrews

  • The brank was put over the head, and was fastened with a padlock.

    Ten Thousand Wonderful Things

    Edmund Fillingham King

  • No specimens of the "brank" are known to exist in Ireland or Wales.