/brays/, n., v., braced, bracing.
1. something that holds parts together or in place, as a clasp or clamp.
2. anything that imparts rigidity or steadiness.
3. Also called bitbrace, bitstock. Mach. a device for holding and turning a bit for boring or drilling.
4. Building Trades. a piece of timber, metal, etc., for supporting or positioning another piece or portion of a framework.
5. Naut. (on a square-rigged ship) a rope by which a yard is swung about and secured horizontally.
6. Music. leather loops sliding upon the tightening cords of a drum to change their tension and the drum's pitch.
7. Often, braces. Dentistry. a round or flat metal wire placed against the surfaces of the teeth for straightening irregularly arranged teeth.
8. Med. an appliance for supporting a weak joint or joints.
9. braces, Chiefly Brit. suspender (def. 1).
10. a pair; couple: a brace of grouse.
11. Printing.
a. one of two characters { or } used to enclose words or lines to be considered together.
b. bracket (def. 7).
12. Music. connected staves.
13. a protective band covering the wrist or lower part of the arm, esp. a bracer.
14. Mil. a position of attention with exaggeratedly stiff posture.
15. to furnish, fasten, or strengthen with or as if with a brace.
16. to fix firmly; make steady; secure against pressure or impact: He braces himself when the ship rolls. Brace yourself for some bad news.
17. to make tight; increase the tension of.
18. to act as a stimulant to.
19. Naut. to swing or turn around (the yards of a ship) by means of the braces.
20. Mil. to order (a subordinate) to assume and maintain a brace.
21. Mil. to assume a brace.
22. brace in, Naut. to brace (the yards of a square-rigged vessel) more nearly athwartships, as for running free.
23. brace up, Informal. to summon up one's courage; become resolute: She choked back her tears and braced up.
[1300-50; (n.) ME < AF, OF: pair of arms < L bra(c)chia pl. (taken as fem. sing.) of bra(c)chium arm ( < Gk; see BRACHIUM); (v.) in part ME bracen ( < AF bracier, deriv. of brace; cf. EMBRACE1), in part. deriv. of the n.]
Syn. 1. vise. 4. stay, prop, strut. 10. See pair. 15. support, fortify, prop. 17. tauten, tense. 18. fortify.

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Universalium. 2010.