Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

brace

1 verb
     
brace1
1 [transitive] to mentally or physically prepare yourself or someone else for something unpleasant that is going to happen
brace yourself (for something)
Nancy braced herself for the inevitable arguments.
The military needs to brace itself for further spending cuts, says McCoy.
brace yourself to do something
Cathy braced herself to see Matthew, who she expected to arrive at any minute.
be braced for something
The base was braced for an attack.
2 [transitive] to push part of your body against something solid in order to make yourself more steady
brace something against something
Gina braced her back against the wall and pushed as hard as she could.
brace yourself (for something)
The pilot told passengers and crew to brace themselves for a rough landing.
3 [transitive] to make something stronger by supporting it:
Wait until we've braced the ladder.
Workers used steel beams to brace the roof.
4 [intransitive and transitive] to make your body or part of your body stiff in order to prepare to do something difficult

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