brass


brass
brassish, adj.
/bras, brahs/, n.
1. any of various metal alloys consisting mainly of copper and zinc.
2. a utensil, ornament, or other article made of such an alloy.
3. Music.
b. brass instruments collectively in a band or orchestra.
4. metallic yellow; lemon, amber, or reddish yellow.
5. Informal.
a. high-ranking military officers.
b. any very important officials.
6. Informal. excessive self-assurance; impudence; effrontery.
7. Mach. a replaceable semicylindrical shell, usually of bronze, used with another such to line a bearing; a half bushing. See diag. under exploded view.
8. Brit. a memorial tablet or plaque, often incised with an effigy, coat of arms, or the like.
9. Furniture. any piece of ornamental or functional hardware, as a drawer pull, made of brass.
10. Brit. Slang. money.
adj.
11. of, made of, or pertaining to brass.
12. composed for or using musical instruments made of brass.
13. having the color brass.
[bef. 1000; 1945-50 for def. 5; ME bras, OE braes; c. OFris bres copper, MLG bras metal]
Syn. 6. cheek, nerve, brashness, gall, chutzpa.

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Alloy of copper and zinc, important for its hardness and workability.

Brass was first used с 1200 BC in the Near East, then extensively in China after 220 BC, and soon thereafter by the Romans. In ancient documents, including the Bible, the term brass is often used to denote bronze (copper/tin alloy). The malleability of brass depends on its zinc content; brasses with more than 45% zinc are not workable. Alpha brasses contain less than 40% zinc; beta brasses (40–45% zinc) are less ductile than alpha brasses but stronger. A third group includes brasses with additional elements. Among these are lead brasses, which are more easily machined; naval and admiralty brasses, in which a small amount of tin improves resistance to corrosion by seawater; and aluminum brasses, which provide strength and corrosion resistance where the naval brasses may fail.

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      town and minor port, Rivers state, southern Nigeria, on the Gulf of Guinea, at the mouth of the Brass River (in the Niger Delta). A traditional fishing village of the Nembe branch of the Ijo people, it became a slave-trading port for the state of Brass (Nembe) in the early 19th century. Ruled by African merchant “houses,” which were encouraged by the European traders, the state's chief slave-collecting centres (Brass and Nembe) often sent war canoes into the interior—especially through Igbo country—to capture slaves to exchange for Western cloth, tools, spirits, and firearms. Brass was one of the last slave-exporting depots on the gulf; the rulers of the nearby Bonny kingdom used its concealed delta ports as an outlet for their slaves destined for markets in Brazil and Cuba after the British had gained control of the Bonny River.

      By the mid-19th century Brass had become a significant collecting point for palm oil and kernels. It remained a palm oil port under the Oil Rivers Protectorate and the Niger Coast Protectorate, but it was eclipsed in importance by Akassa, the port of the Royal Niger Company. It is now a fishing port and a local trade centre in palm produce, cassava, taro, and plantains.

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Universalium. 2010.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Brass — Brass, n.; pl. {Brasses}. [OE. bras, bres, AS. br[ae]s; akin to Icel. bras cement, solder, brasa to harden by fire, and to E. braze, brazen. Cf. 1st & 2d {Braze}.] 1. An alloy (usually yellow) of copper and zinc, in variable proportion, but often …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • brass — [bra:s US bræs] n ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ 1¦(metal)¦ 2¦(music)¦ 3¦(decorations)¦ 4 get down to brass tacks 5¦(people with top jobs)¦ 6 it s brass monkeys/brass monkey weather 7¦(money)¦ ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ [: Old English; Origin: brAs] 1.) ¦(METAL)¦ …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • brass — [ bræs ] noun ** 1. ) uncount a shiny yellow metal that is used for making musical instruments and objects such as door handles. It is a mixture of COPPER and ZINC: a faucet made of brass doors with brass hinges a ) count a flat piece of brass… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • brass — ► NOUN 1) a yellow alloy of copper and zinc. 2) (also horse brass) a flat brass ornament for the harness of a draught horse. 3) Brit. a memorial consisting of a flat piece of inscribed brass in the wall or floor of a church. 4) brass wind… …   English terms dictionary

  • Brass — ist: die englische Bezeichnung für Messing eine gängige Bezeichnung für Blasmusik mit Blechblasinstrumenten aus Messing eine Stadt in Nigeria, siehe Brass (Nigeria) Brass ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Arnold Braß (1854–1915), deutscher …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • brass — [bras, bräs] n. pl. brasses [ME bras < OE bræs, brass, bronze] 1. a yellowish metal that is essentially an alloy of copper and zinc 2. things made of brass, as fittings, ornaments, or implements 3. [often with pl. v.] the brass instruments of… …   English World dictionary

  • brass — brass; brass·bound·er; brass·ie; brass·i·ly; brass·i·ness; ze·brass; brass·ey; steen·brass; …   English syllables

  • brass´i|ly — brass|y «BRAS ee, BRAHS », adjective, brass|i|er, brass|i|est, noun, plural brass|ies. –adj. 1. of or covered with brass. 2. like brass: » …   Useful english dictionary

  • brass|y — «BRAS ee, BRAHS », adjective, brass|i|er, brass|i|est, noun, plural brass|ies. –adj. 1. of or covered with brass. 2. like brass: » …   Useful english dictionary

  • brass — [brɑːs ǁ bræs] noun [uncountable] informal the top managers in an organization; = TOP BRASS: • Mr Sprey and the Air Force brass clashed continually over major elements of the plane s design. * * * brass UK US /brɑːs/ noun [U] ► WORK …   Financial and business terms

  • brass — (n.) O.E. bræs brass, bronze, originally in reference to an alloy of copper and tin (now bronze), later and in modern use an alloy of two parts copper, one part zinc. A mystery word, with no known cognates beyond English. Perhaps akin to Fr.… …   Etymology dictionary


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