Advertisement
20 entries found
Search filter: All Results 
brace (n.)
early 14c., "piece of armor for the arms," also "thong, strap for fastening," from Old French brace "arms," also "length measured by two arms" (12c., Modern French bras "arm, power;" brasse "fathom, armful, breaststroke"), from Latin bracchia, plural of bracchium "an arm, a forearm," from Greek brakhion "an arm" (see brachio-).

Meaning "that which holds two or more things firmly together" (on notion of clasping arms) is from mid-15c. Hence applied to various devices for fastening and tightening. Meaning "a prop, support," especially in architecture, is from 1520s. Of dogs, ducks, pistols, etc., "a couple, a pair" from c. 1400. Braces is from 1798 as "straps passing over the shoulders to hold up the trousers;" from 1945 as "wires for straightening the teeth."
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
brace (v.)
mid-14c., "to seize, grasp, hold firmly," also "wrap, enshroud; tie up, fetter," from Old French bracier "to embrace," from brace "arms" (see brace (n.)). Meaning "make tense, render firm or steady by tensing" is mid-15c., earlier in figurative sense "strengthen or comfort" (someone), early 15c., with later extension to tonics, etc. that "brace" the nerves (compare bracer "stiff drink"). To brace oneself "place oneself in the position of a brace" (in anticipation of some shock or impact) is by 1805, perhaps c. 1500. To brace up "increase the tension or vigor of" is from 1809. Related: Braced; bracing.
Related entries & more 
bracer (n.)
early 14c., "piece of armor protecting the arm;" 1580s, "a clamp, bind, that which braces or makes firm," agent noun from brace (v.). Figurative sense of "that which braces the nerves" is 1740; especially an alcoholic drink taken early in the morning (by 1826). Related: Bracers.
Related entries & more 
vambrace (n.)
armor or guard for the forearm, early 14c., from Anglo-French vant-bras, from Old French avant-bras, from avant "before, in front of" (see avant) + bras "an arm" (see brace (n.)).
Related entries & more 
*mregh-u- 
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "short."

It forms all or part of: abbreviate; abbreviation; abridge; amphibrach; brace; bracelet; brachio-; brachiopod; brachiosaurus; brachy-; brassiere; breviary; brevity; brief; brumal; brume; embrace; merry; mirth; pretzel; vambrace.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Greek brakhys "short;" Latin brevis "short, low, little, shallow;" Old Church Slavonic bruzeja "shallow places, shoals;" Gothic gamaurgjan "to shorten."
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
heart-strings (n.)
also heartstrings, late 15c., in old anatomy, "the tendons and nerves that brace the heart;" from heart (n.) + string (n.). Transferred and figurative sense "strongest affections, most intense feelings" is from 1590s.
Related entries & more 
brasserie (n.)

"beer saloon in which food is served," 1864, from French brasserie "beer-garden attached to a brewery," from brasser "to brew," from Latin brace "grain used to prepare malt," said by Pliny to be a Celtic word (compare Welsh brag "malt").

Related entries & more 
strut (n.)
"supporting brace," 1580s, perhaps from strut (v.), or a cognate word in Scandinavian (compare Norwegian strut "a spout, nozzle") or Low German (compare Low German strutt "rigid"); ultimately from Proto-Germanic *strutoz-, from root *strut- (see strut (v.)).
Related entries & more 
bender (n.)
late 15c., "instrument for bending," agent noun from bend (v.). Slang meaning "drinking bout" is American English, attested from 1846, perhaps from the Scottish sense of "a hard drinker" (1728). Perhaps from the verb in the figurative sense of "strain, brace, wind up." Other slang senses included "a sixpence" (1836) "( ? Because it bends easily.)" [OED]; "a leg" (U.S., 1849).
Related entries & more 
stanchion (n.)

early 14c., "post, pillar, or beam used for support," from Old French estanchon "prop, brace, support" (13c., Modern French étançon), probably from estant "upright," from present participle of ester "be upright, stand," from Latin stare "to stand" (from PIE root *sta- "to stand, make or be firm").

Related entries & more