[ brik ]
/ brɪk /
a block of clay hardened by drying in the sun or burning in a kiln, and used for building, paving, etc.: traditionally, in the U.S., a rectangle 2.25 × 3.75 × 8 inches (5.7 × 9.5 × 20.3 cm), red, brown, or yellow in color.
such blocks collectively.
the material of which such blocks are made.
any block or bar having a similar size and shape: a gold brick; an ice-cream brick.
the length of a brick as a measure of thickness, as of a wall: one and a half bricks thick.
Informal. an admirably good or generous person.
Informal. an electronic device that has become completely nonfunctional.
verb (used with object)
to pave, line, wall, fill, or build with brick.
Informal. to cause (an electronic device) to become completely nonfunctional: I bricked my phone while doing the upgrade.
made of, constructed with, or resembling bricks.
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Idioms for brick
- to walk the streets, especially as an unemployed or homeless person.
- to go on strike: With contract talks stalled, workers are threatening to hit the bricks.
drop a brick, to make a social gaffe or blunder, especially an indiscreet remark.
hit the bricks,
- to plan or act on a false premise or unrealistic basis.
- to create something that will not last: To form governments without the consent of the people is to make bricks without straw.
- to perform a task despite the lack of necessary materials.
make bricks without straw,
Origin of brick
1400–50; late Middle English brike < Middle Dutch bricke; akin to break
OTHER WORDS FROM brickbrick·like, brick·ish, adjectiveun·bricked, adjective
Words nearby brick
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
British Dictionary definitions for drop a brick
/ (brɪk) /
- a rectangular block of clay mixed with sand and fired in a kiln or baked by the sun, used in building construction
- (as modifier)a brick house
the material used to make such blocks
any rectangular blocka brick of ice
informal a reliable, trustworthy, or helpful person
British a child's building block
short for brick red
drop a brick British informal to make a tactless or indiscreet remark
like a ton of bricks informal (used esp of the manner of punishing or reprimanding someone) with great force; severelywhen he spotted my mistake he came down on me like a ton of bricks
(usually foll by in, up or over) to construct, line, pave, fill, or wall up with bricksto brick up a window; brick over a patio
slang to attack (a person) with a brick or bricks
Word Origin for brick
C15: from Old French brique, from Middle Dutch bricke; related to Middle Low German brike, Old English brecan to 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
Idioms and Phrases with drop a brick (1 of 2)
drop a brick
Also, drop a clanger. Say something indiscreet, commit a social gaffe. For example, John dropped a brick when he called her by his ex-wife's name. [Slang; 1920s]
Idioms and Phrases with drop a brick (2 of 2)
In addition to the idioms beginning with brick
- bricks and mortar
- bricks shy of a load
- drop a brick
- hit the bricks
- like a cat on a hot brick
- like a ton of bricks
- make bricks without straw
- run into a stone (brick) wall
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.