a person in a high position, especially a top-ranking army or navy officer.
Indiscretions of Archie P. G. Wodehouse
(Brit, informal) a top-ranking official, esp a military officer
A high-ranking officer in the military or other uniformed services (1890s+ British)
Any high-ranking official; manager; chief; boss (1930s+)
A high-ranking official, as in All the brass bats were invited to the sales conference. The terms big brass, top brass, and the brass all refer to high officials considered as a group. For example, John’s one of the top brass in town—he’s superintendent of schools. The origin of this term is disputed. Most authorities believe it originated in the late 19th-century British army, when senior officers had gold leaves on their cap brims. Another theory is that it referred to the cocked hat worn by Napoleon and his officers, which they folded and carried under the arm when indoors. In French these were called chapeaux à bras (“hats in arms”), a term the British are supposed to have anglicized as brass. By World War I brass hat referred to a high-ranking officer in Britain and America, and in World War II it was joined by the other brass phrases. After the war these terms began to be used for the top executives in business and other organizations.
a musical wind instrument of brass or other metal with a cup-shaped mouthpiece, as the trombone, tuba, French horn, trumpet, or cornet.
a band of metal with four holes that fits over the upper fingers and that is gripped when a fist is made, used for increasing the effect of a blow with the fist. Historical Examples Andersonville, complete John McElroy Andersonville, Volume 2 John McElroy
brass monkey Historical Examples The Ocean Cat’s Paw George Manville Fenn And Then the Town Took Off Richard Wilson The Story Girl Lucy Maud Montgomery The Boy Scouts in A Trapper’s Camp Thornton W. Burgess Plowing On Sunday Sterling North The Journal of a Disappointed Man Wilhelm Nero Pilate Barbellion The Patrol of the Sun […]
wealth, success, or a prestigious position considered as a goal or prize: Few of those who reach for the brass ring of the Presidency achieve it. the opportunity to try for such a prize. A chance to achieve wealth or success; a prize or reward. For example, “As a businessman he let the brass ring […]
an antiquarian’s technique for copying designs from incised brass memorial slabs and the like. a copy made by brass-rubbing. Compare rubbing (def 2). noun the taking of an impression of an engraved brass tablet or plaque by placing a piece of paper over it and rubbing the paper with graphite, heelball, or chalk an impression […]