View synonyms for brass ring

brass ring


, Informal.
  1. wealth, success, or a prestigious position considered as a goal or prize:

    Few of those who reach for the brass ring of the Presidency achieve it.

  2. the opportunity to try for such a prize.

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Word History and Origins

Origin of brass ring1

From the practice of picking a ring from a box while riding a merry-go-round: whoever selected a brass ring received a free ride
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Idioms and Phrases

A chance to achieve wealth or success; a prize or reward. For example, “As a businessman he let the brass ring go by too many times. And it got him.” This quotation from the Boston Globe (July 31, 1995) refers to an executive who was forced to resign. The term comes from the practice of giving a free ride to the person who succeeded in picking a ring out of a box while riding a merry-go-round. [ Slang ; late 1800s]
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Example Sentences

It seems like a brass ring so far in the future that it may not do much to create engagement or a great work environment today.

From Digiday

All that training, prep and focus leads to a final showdown and one last grab for the brass ring.

You strive so hard to get the brass ring that when you get there, it can be blinding.

All in a day's workaholism for Leno, whose aggressiveness in reaching for the brass ring knows few if any bounds.

If you get the brass ring Tuesday, I know you will both serve your guy well either way.

Each end is turned into a scroll and then riveted or soldered to the base D and to the upper brass ring.

Iry put forth a small, dingy hand, adorned with a large, elaborate brass ring.

The taxi-cab driver held up a hand and tapped a brass ring on its third finger.

I was thankful to see a pretty iron bedstead with a brass ring and blue chintz hangings, instead of the four-poster I had dreaded.

They might better be engaged in brass-ring-snatching contests at the merry-go-rounds of public fairs.


Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.