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something that holds parts together or in place, as a clasp or clamp.
anything that imparts rigidity or steadiness.
Also called bitbrace, bitstock. Machinery. a device for holding and turning a bit for boring or drilling.
Building Trades. a piece of timber, metal, etc., for supporting or positioning another piece or portion of a framework.
Nautical. (on a square-rigged ship) a rope by which a yard is swung about and secured horizontally.
Music. leather loops sliding upon the tightening cords of a drum to change their tension and the drum’s pitch.
Often, braces. Dentistry. a round or flat metal wire placed against the surfaces of the teeth for straightening irregularly arranged teeth.
Medicine/Medical. an appliance for supporting a weak joint or joints.
braces, Chiefly British, suspender (def 1).
a pair; couple:
a brace of grouse.

one of two characters { or } used to enclose words or lines to be considered together.
bracket (def 7).

Music. connected staves.
a protective band covering the wrist or lower part of the arm, especially a bracer.
Military. a position of attention with exaggeratedly stiff posture.
to furnish, fasten, or strengthen with or as if with a brace.
to fix firmly; make steady; secure against pressure or impact:
He braces himself when the ship rolls. Brace yourself for some bad news.
to make tight; increase the tension of.
to act as a stimulant to.
Nautical. to swing or turn around (the yards of a ship) by means of the braces.
Military. to order (a subordinate) to assume and maintain a brace.
Military. to assume a brace.
brace in, Nautical. to brace (the yards of a square-rigged vessel) more nearly athwartships, as for running free.
brace up, Informal. to summon up one’s courage; become resolute:
She choked back her tears and braced up.
Contemporary Examples

Fashion Critic Cathy Horyn Leaves New York Times; Miley Cyrus Gets Naked For ‘W’ Magazine The Fashion Beast Team January 30, 2014
The Horror! The Horror! Rihanna’s Porny Debut At #LFW Tom Sykes February 15, 2013
Camilla’s Brother ‘Fighting For Life’ After Fall In New York City Tom Sykes April 22, 2014
Biggest Midterm Issue? The Obamaphant in the Living Room Dean Obeidallah September 6, 2014
From ‘Lost’ to The Rapture: Creators Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta on HBO’s ‘The Leftovers’ Marlow Stern June 23, 2014

Historical Examples

No Clue James Hay
Chip, of the Flying U B. M. Bower
The Affair at the Inn Kate Douglas Wiggin
Ned Myers James Fenimore Cooper
Children of the Whirlwind Leroy Scott

a hand tool for drilling holes, with a socket to hold the drill at one end and a cranked handle by which the tool can be turned In full hand brace See also brace and bit
something that steadies, binds, or holds up another thing
a structural member, such as a beam or prop, used to stiffen a framework
a sliding loop, usually of leather, attached to the cords of a drum: used to change its tension
a pair; two, esp of game birds: a brace of partridges
either of a pair of characters, { }, used for connecting lines of printing or writing or as a third sign of aggregation in complex mathematical or logical expressions that already contain parentheses and square brackets
Also called accolade. a line or bracket connecting two or more staves of music
(often pl) an appliance of metal bands and wires that can be tightened to maintain steady pressure on the teeth for correcting uneven alignment
(med) any of various appliances for supporting the trunk, a limb, or teeth
another word for bracer2
(in square-rigged sailing ships) a rope that controls the movement of a yard and thus the position of a sail
See braces
verb (mainly transitive)
to provide, strengthen, or fit with a brace
to steady or prepare (oneself or something) as before an impact
(also intransitive) to stimulate; freshen; invigorate: sea air is bracing
to control the horizontal movement of (the yards of a square-rigged sailing ship)

To stop or approach a person and beg for money: This panhandler came up to me and braced me (1890+)
To confront someone with an accusation: this would be a good chance to brace Bubba’s wife without her husband being present (1950s+)
: The sergeant ordered her to brace


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