American Dictionary of the English Language

Dictionary Search


BRACE, noun [Latin brachium; Gr. the arm.]

1. In architecture, a piece of timber framed in with bevel joints, to keep the building from swerving either way. It extends like an arm from the post or main timber.

2. That which holds any thing tight; a cincture or bandage. The braces of a drum are not bands.

3. A pair; a couple; as a brace of ducks. It is used of persons only in contempt, or in the style of drollery.

4. In music, a double curve at the beginning of stave.

5. A thick strap, which supports a carriage on wheels.

6. A crooked line in printing, connecting two or more words or lines; thus boll, bowl. It is used to connect triplets in poetry.

7. In marine language, a rope reeved through a block at the end of a yard, to square or traverse the yard. The name is given also to pieces of iron which are used as supports; such as of the poop lanterns, etc.

8. brace or brasse, is a foreign measure answering to our fathom.

9. Harness; warlike preparation; as we say, girded for battle.

10. Tension; tightness.

11. Braces, plural , suspenders, the straps that sustain pantaloons, etc.

12. The braces of a drum, are the cords on the sides of it, for tightening the heads and snares.

BRACE, verb transitive To draw tight; to tighten; to bind or tie close; to make tight and firm.

1. To make tense; to strain up; as, to brace a drum.

2. To furnish with braces; as, to brace a building.

3. To strengthen; to increase tension; as, to brace the nerves.

4. In marine language, to bring the yards to either side.

To brace about is to turn the yards round for the contrary tack.

To brace sharp is to cause the yards to have the smallest possible angle with the keel.

To brace to is to check or ease off the leg braces, and round-in the weather ones, to assist in tacking.