brake

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brake1 / brāk/ • n. a device for slowing or stopping a moving vehicle, typically by applying pressure to the wheels: he slammed on his brakes. ∎  a thing that slows or hinders a process: China's decision to put the brakes on economic reform. • v. [intr.] make a moving vehicle slow down or stop by using a brake: drivers who brake abruptly [as adj.] (braking) an anti-lock braking system. brake2 • n. hist. an open, horse-drawn, four-wheeled carriage. brake3 • n. a toothed instrument used for crushing flax and hemp. ∎  (also brake harrow) a heavy machine formerly used in agriculture for breaking up large lumps of earth. brake4 • n. archaic or poetic/lit. a thicket. See also canebrake, fernbrake. brake2 (also brake fern) • n. a coarse fern (genus Pteris, family Pteridaceae) of warm and tropical countries, frequently having the fronds divided into long linear segments. ∎  archaic term for bracken. brake3 • archaic past of break.

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brake Device for slowing the speed of a vehicle or machine. Braking can be accomplished by a mechanical, hydraulic (liquid), or pneumatic (air) system that presses a non-rotating part into contact with a rotating part, so that friction stops the motion. In a car, the non-rotating part is called a shoe or pad, and the rotating part is a disc or drum attached to a wheel. Some vehicles use electromagnetic effects to oppose the motion and cause braking. A ‘power’ brake utilizes a vacuum system.

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brake1 thicket. OE. bracu, corr. to MLG. brake branch, etc.; prob. f. *brak- *brek- BREAK1, the orig. sense being ‘broken wood’ perh. reinforced in ME, from LG.

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brake3 apparatus for retarding the motion of a wheel. XVIII. prob. spec. use of †brake bridle, curb (XV-XVIII) — MDu. braeke, rel. to breken BREAK1.

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brake2 fern, bracken. XIV. perh. shortening of BRACKEN, through the apprehension of this as a pl. form.

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brake An area of bracken (or other fern), scrub, or underwood.

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brake4 see BREAK2.

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Brake

a clump of brushes, brushwood, or briars. See also thicket.

Example: brakes of fern, shrub, and fallen trees, 1772.

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brake An area of bracken (or other fern), scrub, or underwood.

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