Meaning of BRAKE in English



past of break

II. ˈbrāk noun

or brake fern

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English, fern, probably of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Swedish brækne fern — more at bracken

1. : a fern of the genus Pteridium (as P. aquilinum ) having ternately compound fronds and roots, often growing several feet high, and used for making a beverage, for thatching, and for tanning

2. : a fern of the genus Pteris

III. transitive verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: Middle English braken, from Middle Dutch or Middle Low German, to brake flax, to break on the wheel; akin to Middle Dutch breken to break, Old English brecan — more at break

: to break (flax or hemp) with a brake

IV. noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English, from Middle Low German; akin to Old English brecan to break

1. : a toothed instrument or machine for separating out the fiber of flax or hemp by breaking up the woody parts

2. : a tool resembling scissors used by basket makers to peel the bark from willow stems

3. dialect : a large heavy harrow : drag

4. : a baker's kneading machine

5. : a machine for bending, flanging, folding, and forming sheet metal — called also cornice brake

V. noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English

1. obsolete : a bridle with a powerful bit

2. : the handle of a pump ; especially : one long enough so that a number of men can unite in working the pump


a. also break “

(1) : a device (as a block or band applied to the rim of a wheel) to arrest the motion of a vehicle, a machine, or other mechanism and usually employing some form of friction — often used in plural

to apply the brakes

— see air brake , emergency brake , friction brake , hydraulic brake , magnetic brake , service brake , vacuum brake

(2) : something designed or used to slow down or stop movement, momentum, or activity

the interest rate acting as a brake on expenditures

the government has applied the brakes on … horse players and other gamblers — Harry Levine

b. : the end man of a bobsled team who operates the brake

VI. verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

transitive verb

: to retard or stop by or as if by a brake

brake a car

impulses being braked by inhibition — Fredric Wertham

intransitive verb

1. : to operate or manage a brake or brakes: as

a. : to act as a brakeman

retired after 40 years of braking

b. : to manage a winding or hoisting engine for a mine


a. : to become checked by a brake

the car braked to a stop

b. : to apply a brake : slow up by applying the brake

the driver braked around curves

VII. noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English -brake, probably from Middle Low German brake; akin to Middle Low German breken to break, Old English brecan — more at break

: rough, broken, or marshy land thickly overgrown usually with one kind of plant

cedar brakes

the thick coastal brakes of the Olympia peninsula

— see canebrake

VIII. noun

( -s )

Etymology: origin unknown

1. obsolete : cage , trap , snare

2. : an ancient instrument of torture : rack


variant of break III

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.