• Both brass and pottery candlesticks have been found. The candle was the standard lighting device during the 17th century
    Both brass and pottery candlesticks have been found. The candle was the standard lighting device during the 17th century
  • WordNet 3.6
    • n brass a wind instrument that consists of a brass tube (usually of variable length) that is blown by means of a cup-shaped or funnel-shaped mouthpiece
    • n brass a memorial made of brass
    • n brass an ornament or utensil made of brass
    • n brass impudent aggressiveness "I couldn't believe her boldness","he had the effrontery to question my honesty"
    • n brass the persons (or committees or departments etc.) who make up a body for the purpose of administering something "he claims that the present administration is corrupt","the governance of an association is responsible to its members","he quickly became recognized as a member of the establishment"
    • n brass the section of a band or orchestra that plays brass instruments
    • n brass an alloy of copper and zinc
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

A few kitchen utensils and accessories excavated at Jamestown: a ladle, brass pan, knife blades, fork, kettle fragments, spout, colander fragments, and pot hooks A few kitchen utensils and accessories excavated at Jamestown: a ladle, brass pan, knife blades, fork, kettle...
Brass weights and a piece of scrap brass unearthed at Jamestown. Records indicate that many metalworkers emigrated to Virginia during the 17th century Brass weights and a piece of scrap brass unearthed at Jamestown. Records indicate that many metalworkers emigrated to...
Lead and copper pipes, kettle fragments, a brass spigot, and other items found which may have been used for brewing or distilling purposes Lead and copper pipes, kettle fragments, a brass spigot, and other items found which may have been used for brewing...
Earthenware milk pan, brass ladle, funnel fragment, and other items found which relate to dairying and cheesemaking Earthenware milk pan, brass ladle, funnel fragment, and other items found which relate to dairying and cheesemaking
Brass casting counters excavated on Jamestown Island. Many were made in Germany before 1575 for use by merchants on counting boards. In the New World they were used for the Indian trade Brass casting counters excavated on Jamestown Island. Many were made in Germany before 1575 for use by merchants on...
Decorated brass book clasps found near Jamestown which may have been used on an early Bible or prayer book Decorated brass book clasps found near Jamestown which may have been used on an early Bible or prayer book
Oak Stool with Brass Cover Oak Stool with Brass Cover

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: There is a large brass statue of Winnie-the-Pooh in Lima, Peru
    • Brass A brass plate engraved with a figure or device. Specifically, one used as a memorial to the dead, and generally having the portrait, coat of arms, etc.
    • Brass (Mach) A journal bearing, so called because frequently made of brass. A brass is often lined with a softer metal, when the latter is generally called a white metal lining. See Axle box Journal Box, and Bearing.
    • Brass An alloy (usually yellow) of copper and zinc, in variable proportion, but often containing two parts of copper to one part of zinc. It sometimes contains tin, and rarely other metals.
    • Brass Coin made of copper, brass, or bronze. "Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses, nor scrip for your journey."
    • Brass Impudence; a brazen face.
    • Brass (Mining) Lumps of pyrites or sulphuret of iron, the color of which is near to that of brass.
    • Brass Utensils, ornaments, or other articles of brass. "The very scullion who cleans the brasses ."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: The word "tip" dates back to the old London coffeehouses. Conspicuously placed brass boxes etched with the inscription, "To Insure Promptness," encouraged customers to pay for efficient service. The resulting acronym, TIP, has become a byword.
    • n brass An important alloy, consisting essentially of copper and zinc. The proportion in which the two metals are combined differs considerably in different kinds of brass. Brass in general is harder than copper, and consequently wears better than that metal. It is malleable and ductile, so that it can be easily rolled into thin sheets, or be hammered into any desired shape. It turns easily in the lathe, and can be drawn into fine wire; moreover, it has an attractive golden color, and is cheaper than copper. The color of brass varies with the proportions of the ingredients. A full yellow variety contains about two parts of copper to one of zinc. This alloy was known to the ancients, and was made by them before they had any knowledge of the metal zinc as such. It is not among the metallic substances mentioned by Homer; but it was well known to Strabo, who describes the mode of manufacturing it from the zinkiferous ore (calamin), and calls the alloy orichalc (ὀρείχαλκος). See orichac, pinchbeck, prince's metal, mosaic gold, Muntz's metal, and yellow metal. In rhetorical comparisons, brass is a common type of hardness, durability, or obduracy.
    • n brass A utensil, ornament, or other article made of brass: as, to clean the brasses on board a ship.
    • n brass In machinery, a pillow, bearing, collar, box, or bush, supporting a gudgeon: so called because frequently made of brass.
    • n brass In medieval archœol., a funeral monument consisting of a plate of brass, usually of rectangular shape and often of large size, incised with an effigy, coats of arms, inscriptions, and frequently accessory ornament. Such brasses are sometimes splendidly enameled. In some examples the designs are executed in relief, or in relief in combination with engraving. Slabs of stone inlaid with figures, etc., in brass are also called brasses, and are a usual form of medieval monument. Both the plates of brass and the inlaid stones were frequently placed in the ordinary pavement of churches. Comparatively few of such monuments executed wholly in brass survive, as the value of the metal has caused it to be melted down and applied to other uses.
    • n brass A brass musical instrument, or, collectively, the brass instruments in a band or an orchestra.
    • n brass Money.
    • n brass In coal-mining, iron pyrites. It occurs in small particles disseminated through the coal, or in veinlets or thin scaly partings.
    • n brass Excessive assurance; impudence; brazenness: as, he has brass enough for anything.
    • brass Made or composed of brass; pertaining to or resembling brass; brazen; brassy.
    • brass To cover or coat over with brass. Copper is brassed by exposing its surface to the fumes of metallic zinc, or by boiling it in diluted hydrochloric acid to which an amalgam of zinc and cream of tartar has been added. Iron is brassed by plunging it, after cleaning, into melted brass, and by electro-deposition.
    • n brass Nautical, same as brace.
    • n brass A continental European measure of length, equal to the extended arms or more; a fathom. The old French brasse was 63.9 English inches; the Spanish braza in Castile,65.7 inches; the Catalan brassa, 80.6 inches; the brazado of the Canary Isles (a variety of the Spanish braza), 71.6 inches; the braça of Portugal and Brazil, 86 inches; the Norwegian brass, commonly used on North German nautical charts, 74.1 inches.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The brass family of instruments include the trumpet, trombone, tuba, cornet, flügelhorn, French horn, saxhorn, and sousaphone. While they are usually made of brass today, in the past they were made of wood, horn, and glass.
    • n Brass bräs an alloy of copper and zinc:
    • adj Brass of or like brass: impudent: unfeeling: pitiless: harsh in tone
    • n Brass bräs (fig.) impudence: money in cash: a monumental plate of brass inlaid on slabs of stone in the pavements of ancient churches
    • ***


  • Bible
    “Though I speak with the tongues of men and angels and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.”
  • Horace
    “He is armed without who is innocent within, be this thy screen, and this thy wall of brass.”
  • T. S. Eliot
    “Birth, copulation and death. That's all the facts when you come to the brass tacks.”
  • William Shakespeare
    “Men's evil manners live in brass, their virtues we write in water.”
  • Onwuka Emeka
    Onwuka Emeka
    “we try so hard to live free, only to die and be confined to a brass prison”


Bold as brass - Someone who is as bold as brass is very confident and not worried about how other people will respond or about being caught.
Brass monkey - If it's brass monkey weather, or cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey, it is extremely cold.
Brass neck - (UK) Someone who has the brass neck to do something has no sense of shame about what they do.
Brass tacks - If you get down to brass tacks, you get down to the real business.
Pull the other one, it's got brass bells on - This idiom is way of telling somebody that you don't believe them. The word 'brass' is optional.
Top brass - In the army or in other organizations, the top brass are the people in the highest positions
Where there's muck, there's brass - You can make money doing dirty jobs nobody else wants to do. "Where there's muck, there's money" is also used.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. bras, bres, AS. bræs,; akin to Icel. bras, cement, solder, brasa, to harden by fire, and to E. braze, brazen,. Cf. 1st & 2d Braze
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. braes; prob. related to Sw. brasa, fire.


In literature:

Of modern fittings, the Brass Lectern was given by members of the late Dean Lear's family.
"Bell's Cathedrals: The Cathedral Church of Salisbury" by Gleeson White
Copper mixed with zinc forms brass, which is harder than copper alone.
"Diggers in the Earth" by Eva March Tappan
The walls were of brass, the doors of gold, and the thresholds and lintels of pure silver.
"Odysseus, the Hero of Ithaca" by Homer
Shall we stumble upon a job yet that will make brass seem as a haven of refuge?
"Working With the Working Woman" by Cornelia Stratton Parker
It will be seen that the principal commodity in Benares is holiness; but there is one creditable industry, namely, the manufacture of brass.
"Travels in the Far East" by Ellen Mary Hayes Peck
Constant wiping on the brass ferrule will result in the tinning on the brass ferrule coming off.
"Elements of Plumbing" by Samuel Dibble
In the days when card playing was at its height many fine brass counter trays and curious card trays were fashioned in brass and copper.
"Chats on Household Curios" by Fred W. Burgess
When a man can use it properly, it's a shield, and a breastplate, helmet, brasses, and everything else.
"The Young Castellan" by George Manville Fenn
But the greatest find was a large brass urn of beautiful workmanship.
"The Kangaroo Marines" by R. W. Campbell
At the west end of the chapel outside is a highly lacquered brass of the usual type, in memory of Judge Sumner, 1885.
"Bell's Cathedrals: The Cathedral Church of Gloucester [2nd ed.]" by H. J. L. J. Massé
Nancy selected a small oil lamp with a brass base and stem, and a lovely-shaped glass shade.
"Polly's Business Venture" by Lillian Elizabeth Roy
A brass tube to fit the eye-end of a telescope, into which all the eye-pieces will screw.
"The Sailor's Word-Book" by William Henry Smyth
For one variety a tin or brass Y is made, into the bottom arm of which a stick fits.
"Practical Taxidermy" by Montagu Browne
A brass ball and ring are shown.
"Ontario Teachers' Manuals: Nature Study" by Ontario Ministry of Education
Answer their questions about Betsy and I think some very high brass will be grateful.
"The Machine That Saved The World" by William Fitzgerald Jenkins
The valves are brass plates, truly ground to fit the circular brass orifice on which they fall.
"Fire Prevention and Fire Extinction" by James Braidwood
He could hear a band now, a shrilling of brass, the clatter and thump of percussion instruments.
"It Could Be Anything" by John Keith Laumer
The Scotchman bent to file the tooth of a small brass wheel.
"Christopher and the Clockmakers" by Sara Ware Bassett
While others serve the seething brass, and o'er the herbage strown Set coaly morsels 'neath the spit, and roast the inner meat.
"The Æneids of Virgil" by Virgil
At her head there was a brass vessel of water, a lamp-stand, some uncooked rice, and some broken cocoanuts.
"Things as They Are" by Amy Wilson-Carmichael

In poetry:

O let not that of any thing:
Let rather brasse,
Or steel, or mountains be thy ring,
And I will passe.
"The Search" by George Herbert
In spite of unbelief and pride,
And self, and Satan's art;
The gates of brass fly open wide,
And Jesus wins the heart.
"The Heart Taken" by John Newton
Against eternal light and gorgon's face
Day is the shield
And we the grass
Native to fields of iron, and skies of brass.
"Harvest" by Kathleen Raine
Lift up your heads, ye gates of brass;
Ye bars of iron, yield!
And let the King of glory pass;
The Cross is in the field!
"Lift up your heads, ye gates of brass;" by James Montgomery
It stands engrav'd in solid brass,
And to His people giv'n,
A promise, that if true at last
They all shall meet in heav'n.
"Meet In Heaven" by Benjamin Cutler Clark
He'll order death, that porter rude,
To ope the gates of brass;
For, lo! with characters of blood
Thy Husband wrote thy pass.
"The Believer's Jointure : Chapter II." by Ralph Erskine

In news:

The massive 60-pound chrome-plated, solid-brass bow breastplate alone costs $1360 to cast and plate.
Viya Home's Jasmine Filigree Jaali brass wall hanging by Stephanie Odegard, 800-670-8836.
The Staglon handle sports a solid brass guard and bolsters.
Laura Kirar's Bilbao Fishtail Cluster pendant in mercury glass and brass by Arteriors Home, 877-488-8866.
The Norwegian tuba virtuoso brings his "tuba carnival"—featuring a brass player's dream lineup of Bernstein, Plog, Hindemith, and Ginastera—to New York.
A Brass Tax cocktail at The Front Room : A Park Cities Diner, which is a new restaurant in the remodeled Hotel Lumen near SMU in Dallas.
6 pm Thursday, Horse Brass Pub, 4537 S E.
A brass gazelle , christened Fiona, is a favorite eBay find that centers Framel's living room.
Available in body materials that include stainless steel, brass and other options, the valves offer porting ranging from 0.25 NPT to 1.5 NPT.
For some, this just makes grabbing the brass ring a little more challenging.
Follow me past the two security guards to the white door with the brass plaque: Grill Room.
Our music in pictures, from brass bands to grunge .
Originally, gyros consisted of a small electric motor spinning two heavy brass disks.
On one typically addictive track of trombonist Jimmy Bosch's upcoming album, piano and brass embrace like an inspired couple on the dance floor, shimmying together then breaking apart for some saucy solo moves.
At any quality jazz concert, one should expect to hear a couple of important things that include: brilliant blasts from brass, the pulsing syncopation of a seasoned percussionist and rhythmic.

In science:

The sample bob has a replaceable brass cover screwed and soldered with Wood’s alloy forming a cylindrical sample cell.
Annealing Effect for Supersolid Fraction in $^4$He
III.B); but measurements with relatively low-conductivity brass plates by Roche et al. (2005) yielded results comparable to the high-conductivity copper-plate results.
Large scale dynamics in turbulent Rayleigh-Benard convection
Brass et al. introduced the concept of simultaneous geometric embeddings of a pair of graphs—these are planar straight-line drawings such that any common vertex is represented by the same point.
Testing Simultaneous Planarity when the Common Graph is 2-Connected
They are passive, spherical satellites covered with retro-reflectors and made of heavy brass and aluminum.
Testing General Relativity and gravitational physics using the LARES satellite
The pull and the push rods also act as current bars and therefore brass was used for the cold part.
Stress dependence of the critical currents in neutron irradiated (RE)BCO coated conductors
The collimated beam from the Brashear spectrograph enters from below through the hole on the lower left, passes through the prism (visible under the large triangular plate), and proceeds to the f /2.5 Voigtlander lens that is mounted inside the large brass cylinder in the upper right.
V.M. Slipher and the Development of the Nebular Spectrograph
The cell and dissociator are inside a brass vacuum can which keeps 4 K liquid helium out.
Bose-Einstein Condensation of Atomic Hydrogen
The other end of the line is soft-soldered to a brass cylinder containing a hermetic SMA connector soldered in place.
Bose-Einstein Condensation of Atomic Hydrogen
The seal to be broken is a 25 µm thick piece of brass shim stock which is soft-soldered to a brass flange, and is replaceable.
Bose-Einstein Condensation of Atomic Hydrogen
The cell resides inside a brass vacuum can in the experiment, and this conductor, near the coils, can influence the field; a counter current is generated which tends to partially cancel the field.
Bose-Einstein Condensation of Atomic Hydrogen
The solid line is the field when the cell is surrounded by the brass vacuum can.
Bose-Einstein Condensation of Atomic Hydrogen
The final results for the various parameters are obtained via simple 2D interpolations in the incident energy and NeT. • The empirical formulae of Section 2.3.5. ¶ At present, five materials are supported: brass, cerrobend, nickel, copper, and lead; this list is easily expandable.
Collimator effects in proton planning
The lateral displacement of the 65mm-thick brass block, used in these measurements, was b = −50 mm; the block was positioned opposite to what is shown in Fig. 1, i.e., blocking to beam from −50 mm to (theoretically) −∞.
Collimator effects in proton planning
The results have been obtained using a 65-mm thick brass block.
Collimator effects in proton planning
In each of these plans, a brass block was inserted and fitted to the cross section of the PTV.
Collimator effects in proton planning