Definition of bracket in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈbrakɪt/


1Each of a pair of marks ( ) [ ] { } 〈 〉 used to enclose words or figures so as to separate them from the context: symbols are given in brackets
More example sentences
  • Total available marks are given in brackets, followed by the marks actually awarded.
  • The numbers according to the older 64-section scheme are given in brackets though not used.
  • How refreshing it is to see that most of the adverts for farmland are given in acres often with the hectarage given in brackets.
parenthesis, brace;
round bracket, square bracket, angle bracket, curly bracket
2 [with adjective or noun modifier] A category of people or things that are similar or fall between specified limits: those in a high income bracket
More example sentences
  • There will always be leaders and followers and it has to be said that Explosions in the Sky fall into the second bracket.
  • Agar said: ‘Chris falls into the same bracket as the three who've already come in.’
  • The Rockwell, also in Earls Court, is another newcomer falling into the bed-and-brasserie bracket.
group, grouping, category, categorization, grade, grading, classification, class, set, section, division, order, batch, cohort, list
3A right-angled support attached to a wall for holding a shelf, lamp, or other object.
Example sentences
  • One of York's free-standing gas lamps in the small road off Lawrence Street was to be replaced with an up-to-date electric mercury discharge lamp attached to a wall bracket.
  • An adhesive strip on the back wall attaches the bracket to the support surface.
  • Use wall mounted baskets attached to shelf brackets for an attractive shelf that can hold bathroom supplies or home office paperwork.
support, prop, stay, batten, joist, buttress;
rest, mounting, holder, shelf, rack, frame
4 Military The distance between two artillery shots fired either side of the target to establish range.
Example sentences
  • The front edges of all example target units are within the same range bracket, and unit A is the main target.
  • In the hope of obtaining a rapid and overwhelming fire, the French artillery ranges only for a long bracket.
5US A diagram representing the sequence of matches in a sports tournament, especially as used for making predictions about its outcome: with the March Madness tournament half the fun is filling out your bracket
More example sentences
  • The right side of the College World Series brackets has been finalized.
  • I think we can agree the ease of the FSU bracket will get them a spot in the Super Regional.
  • In the loser's bracket, I think it's a coin flip.
6 (the bracket) British informal, dated A person’s nose or jaw: a quick punch up the bracket
More example sentences
  • I didn’t know, my dad used to say it to me, “You need a good punch up the bracket!”
  • It can be a relatively mild insult among friends, you should avoid saying it to strangers unless you want a smack in the mush or a punch up the bracket.

verb (brackets, bracketing, bracketed)

[with object]
1Enclose (words or figures) in brackets: (as adjective bracketed) the relevant data is included as bracketed points
More example sentences
  • Indeed, I have bracketed the word ‘study’ with quote marks throughout this column because the word ‘survey’ seems more appropriate.
  • Having bracketed the term, the author reverts to the word ‘lesbian’ in describing these Sapphic moderns throughout the text.
  • With the illustrations the situation is worse, for they are not numbered or listed anywhere, and there is no indication of any kind, marginal or bracketed, of the figure corresponding to a description in the text.
1.1 Mathematics Enclose (a complex expression) in brackets to denote that the whole of the expression rather than just a part of it has a particular relation, such as multiplication or division, to another expression.
Example sentences
  • At each stage, we bracket together the symbols with the lowest probabilities, and re-order the list.
  • The optimal value we are searching for is bracketed between a and b, and M is the point with the highest function value found so far.
1.2Put (a belief or matter) aside temporarily: he bracketed off the question of God himself
More example sentences
  • But the latter, too, is bracketed off, no less surely and to Stead's greater cost.
  • In our encounters with world music, aesthetic issues cannot be isolated and bracketed off.
  • Rather, it has been bracketed in the interests of examining or critiquing matters of authenticity and legitimacy in respect of what is claimed as part of a specifically indigenous past.
2Place (one or more people or things) in the same category or group: he is sometimes bracketed with the ‘new wave’ of film directors
More example sentences
  • Previous studies had suggested that people automatically bracket one another in terms of race, sex and age.
  • The spread of negligence liability would not have to result in the broadening of the traditional category of mens rea, and would not mean that intention, recklessness, and negligence would henceforth be bracketed together.
  • So much has the Nazi period become the incarnation of evil that even suggesting that other absolutisms, including extreme racist nationalisms, can be bracketed with it seems to diminish the horror of the Third Reich.
group, classify, class, categorize, grade, list, sort, set, place, assign;
couple, pair, twin, yoke, put together, set side by side, regard as the same, regard as identical, liken, compare
3Hold or attach (something) by means of a right-angled support: pipes should be bracketed
More example sentences
  • The bracketed shelf above the door was probably a later addition, as were the Doric columns flanking the sidelights.
  • You may need to remove this hose - it is bracketed to the side of the engine and bolted to the power steering pump.
  • The only known blowers use a complex flexible rubber conduit assembly that needs to be bracketed and clamped at its outlet end to maintain its appropriate position.
4 Military Establish the range of (a target) by firing two preliminary shots, one short of the target and the other beyond it.
Example sentences
  • You stand up, which is the exhilarating part, to see the fall of shot; then you adjust - add, drop, left, right - till you have the target bracketed.
  • So we're probably going to have to shoot a number of them to bracket spatially the area where we need to target it so it will fall where we want it to fall.
4.1 Photography Establish (the correct exposure) by taking several pictures with slightly more or less exposure: it’s always best to bracket your exposures
More example sentences
  • No matter which method you choose to use, it is always a good idea to bracket your exposure.
  • I normally bracket each exposure at least one stop in both directions (underexposure and overexposure).
  • Remember that infrared film is experimental, so bracket your exposures and be sure to have your film processed by a lab that has worked with infrared before.


Late 16th century: from French braguette or Spanish bragueta 'codpiece, bracket, corbel', from Provençal braga, from Latin braca, (plural) bracae 'breeches'.

  • This support is apparently via French braguette from Spanish bragueta ‘codpiece, bracket, corbel’. The base is Latin brāca, singular of brācae ‘breeches’; it seems that the architectural bracket may have derived its name from a resemblance to the codpiece of a pair of breeches. An erroneous connection with Latin bracchium ‘arm’ ( see bracelet), because of the notion of ‘support’, seems to have affected the sense development.

Words that rhyme with bracket

Blackett, jacket, packet, placket, racket

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: bracket

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