any of various metal alloys consisting mainly of copper and zinc.
a utensil, ornament, or other article made of such an alloy.

brass instrument.
brass instruments collectively in a band or orchestra.

metallic yellow; lemon, amber, or reddish yellow.

high-ranking military officers.
any very important officials.

Informal. excessive self-assurance; impudence; effrontery.
Machinery. a replaceable semicylindrical shell, usually of bronze, used with another such to line a bearing; a half bushing.
British. a memorial tablet or plaque, often incised with an effigy, coat of arms, or the like.
Furniture. any piece of ornamental or functional hardware, as a drawer pull, made of brass.
British Slang. money.
of, made of, or pertaining to brass.
composed for or using musical instruments made of brass.
having the color brass.
Contemporary Examples

Don’t Count Leno Out Lloyd Grove November 2, 2009
‘Mad Men’ Premiere: Before Season 5, Let’s Remember Season 4 Jace Lacob March 21, 2012
What’s Behind Israel’s Unofficial Ban on Wagner? Dan Ephron June 19, 2012
Pendleton Marines’ Car Crash Raises Questions of Alcohol Abuse in Military Jamie Reno June 16, 2012
This Is Your E-Cigarette on Drugs Daniel Genis July 27, 2014

Historical Examples

The Plague Teddy Keller
The Story of the Mormons William Alexander Linn
The Brass Bottle F. Anstey
The Mutiny of the Elsinore Jack London
The Closet of Sir Kenelm Digby Knight Opened Kenelm Digby

an alloy of copper and zinc containing more than 50 per cent of copper. Alpha brass (containing less than 35 per cent of zinc) is used for most engineering materials requiring forging, pressing, etc Alpha-beta brass (35–45 per cent zinc) is used for hot working and extrusion. Beta brass (45–50 per cent zinc) is used for castings. Small amounts of other metals, such as lead or tin, may be added Compare bronze (sense 1)
an object, ornament, or utensil made of brass

the large family of wind instruments including the trumpet, trombone, French horn, etc, each consisting of a brass tube blown directly by means of a cup- or funnel-shaped mouthpiece
(sometimes functioning as pl) instruments of this family forming a section in an orchestra
(as modifier): a brass ensemble

a renewable sleeve or bored semicylindrical shell made of brass or bronze, used as a liner for a bearing
(functioning as pl) (informal) important or high-ranking officials, esp military officers: the top brass See also brass hat
(Northern English, dialect) money: where there’s muck, there’s brass!
(Brit) an engraved brass memorial tablet or plaque, set in the wall or floor of a church
(informal) bold self-confidence; cheek; nerve: he had the brass to ask for more time
(slang) a prostitute
(modifier) of, consisting of, or relating to brass or brass instruments: a brass ornament, a brass band
A yellowish alloy of copper and zinc, usually 67 percent copper and 33 percent zinc. It sometimes includes small amounts of other metals. Brass is strong, ductile, and resistant to many forms of corrosion.

Impudence; effrontery; chutzpa •Fr the late 1500s brass had the same meaning in the phrase face of brass, that is, ”brazen-faced” (1700s+)
Money •Common in British usage (late 1500s+)
High officials or managers in general; the BRASS: There’s lots of vice presidents here but they’re not really brass (1899+)

brass hat
brass ring

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