Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1300-1400
Language: Old French
Origin: 'two arms', from Latin bracchia, from bracchium 'arm'

brace

2 noun
     
Related topics: Letters and punctuation
brace2
1 [countable] something that is used to strengthen or support something, or to make it stiff:
The miners used special braces to keep the walls from collapsing.
neck/back/knee brace (=a brace which supports the neck etc)
He was being fitted for a back brace.
She had to wear a brace after the accident.
2 [countable] braces American English a system of metal wires that people, usually children, wear on their teeth to make them grow straight
3 [countable usually plural] American English a metal support that someone with weak legs wears to help them walk [= callipers British English]
4

braces

[plural] British EnglishDC two long pieces of material that stretch over someone's shoulders and fasten to their trousers at the front and the back to stop them falling down [= suspenders American English]
5SLA [countable] one of a pair of signs { } used to show that information written between them should be considered together [↪ bracket]
6

a brace of something

especially British English two things of the same type, especially two birds or animals that have been killed for food or sport:
a brace of partridge

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