a. A yellowish alloy of copper and zinc, sometimes including small amounts of other metals, but usually 67 percent copper and 33 percent zinc.
b. Ornaments, objects, or utensils made of this alloy.
2. often brasses Music
a. The section of a band or an orchestra composed of brass instruments.
b. Brass instruments or their players considered as a group.
3. A memorial plaque or tablet made of brass, especially one on which an effigy is incised.
4. A bushing or similar lining for a bearing, made from a copper alloy.
5. Informal Bold self-assurance; effrontery.
6. Slang High-ranking military officers or other high officials.
7. Chiefly British Money.
[Middle English bras, from Old English bræs.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
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