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.
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.
drop a brick, to make a social gaffe or blunder, especially an indiscreet remark.
hit the bricks,

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.

Also, take to the bricks.
make bricks without straw,

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.

Contemporary Examples

Pablo Escobar’s Private Prison Is Now Run by Monks for Senior Citizens Jeff Campagna June 6, 2014
How LEGO Conquered Hollywood 65 Years After Its Debut Kevin Fallon April 23, 2014
How LEGO Conquered Hollywood 65 Years After Its Debut Kevin Fallon April 23, 2014
The Michelangelo of Lego Who Quit Law to Play With Toys Kevin Fallon February 6, 2014
Annie Leibovitz and Tina Brown on ‘Pilgrimage,’ Photography, and Vanity Fair Kara Cutruzzula December 11, 2011

Historical Examples

Deadly City Paul W. Fairman
Ancient Man Hendrik Willem van Loon
To Kiel in the ‘Hercules’ Lewis R. Freeman
A Night Out Edward Peple
At the Villa Rose A. E. W. Mason


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 block: a brick of ice
bricks collectively
(informal) a reliable, trustworthy, or helpful person
(Brit) a child’s building block
short for brick red
(Brit, informal) drop a brick, to make a tactless or indiscreet remark
(informal) like a ton of bricks, (used esp of the manner of punishing or reprimanding someone) with great force; severely: when he spotted my mistake he came down on me like a ton of bricks
verb (transitive)
usually foll by in, up or over. to construct, line, pave, fill, or wall up with bricks: to brick up a window, brick over a patio
(slang) to attack (a person) with a brick or bricks

A decent, generous, reliable person (1830s+ British students)
A kilogram (2.2 pounds) of tightly compacted marijuana (1970s+ Narcotics)
Avery inaccurate basketball shot (1980s+ Students)

In addition to the idioms beginning with brick


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