- miscellaneous small articles collected for their antiquarian, sentimental, decorative, or other interest.
Origin of bric-a-brac
1830–40; < French, Middle French: literally, at random, without rhyme or reason; gradational compound from elements of obscure origin
SynonymsSee more synonyms for bric-a-brac on Thesaurus.com
trinkets, gimcracks, knickknacks, baubles, gewgaws.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for bric-a-brac
The "home" does not consist in the furniture, the rooms, the bric-a-brac, or the curtains.The Mother and Her Child
William S. Sadler
Always remember when you are in Society that bric-a-brac is expensive.You Should Worry Says John Henry
George V. Hobart
Spending his money on bric-a-brac like that—and that's not all!Skippy Bedelle
These houses are as quaint in their antique interiors as a bric-a-brac cabinet.Duffels
Theyve sold most of the pictures, china, bric-a-brac and other valuables.The Sorrows of Satan
- miscellaneous small objects, esp furniture and curios, kept because they are ornamental or rare
C19: from French; phrase based on bric piece
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 bric-a-brac
1840, from obsolete French à bric et à brac (16c.) "at random, any old way," a nonsense phrase.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper