A brace is a support that helps to steady or strengthen, and to brace is to prepare for something hard. So brace yourself for that impromptu meeting with your boss if you haven't been performing well.

We all know the braces that straighten teeth and keep injured knees in line. But in verb form, brace means to bolster or steady. “Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather,” said John Ruskin, the English writer and cultural critic. He means the wind supports us with its uplifting powers — although those living in tornado country might disagree.

Definitions of brace
  1. noun
    a support that steadies or strengthens something else
    “he wore a brace on his knee”
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    ankle brace
    a brace worn to strengthen the ankle
    back brace
    a brace worn to support the back
    knee brace
    a brace worn to strengthen the knee
    neck brace
    a brace worn to steady the neck
    a brace that extends from the rear of the keel to support the rudderpost
    type of:
    reinforcement, strengthener
    a device designed to provide additional strength
    any device that bears the weight of another thing
  2. noun
    a structural member used to stiffen a framework
    synonyms: bracing
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    a transverse brace
    gusset, gusset plate
    a metal plate used to strengthen a joist
    guy, guy cable, guy rope, guy wire
    a cable, wire, or rope that is used to brace something (especially a tent)
    (nautical) brace consisting of a heavy rope or wire cable used as a support for a mast or spar
    brace consisting of a longitudinal member to strengthen a fuselage or hull
    brace consisting of a bar or rod used to resist longitudinal compression
    crosstie, railroad tie, sleeper, tie
    one of the cross braces that support the rails on a railway track
    a stay that supports the back of something
    long thin horizontal crosspiece between two vertical posts
    an adjustable stay from the foremast to the deck or bowsprit; controls the bending of the mast
    rundle, rung, spoke
    one of the crosspieces that form the steps of a ladder
    round, rung, stave
    a crosspiece between the legs of a chair
    cross thwart, thwart
    a crosspiece spreading the gunnels of a boat; used as a seat in a rowboat
    transom, traverse
    a horizontal crosspiece across a window or separating a door from a window over it
    type of:
    reinforcement, strengthener
    a device designed to provide additional strength
    structural member
    support that is a constituent part of any structure or building
  3. noun
    a rope on a square-rigged ship that is used to swing a yard about and secure it
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    royal brace
    a brace to secure the royal mast
    type of:
    a strong line
  4. noun
    elastic straps that hold trousers up (usually used in the plural)
    synonyms: gallus, suspender
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    type of:
    man's clothing
    clothing that is designed for men to wear
  5. noun
    an appliance that corrects dental irregularities
    synonyms: braces, orthodontic braces
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    type of:
    dental appliance
    a device to repair teeth or replace missing teeth
  6. noun
    a carpenter's tool having a crank handle for turning and a socket to hold a bit for boring
    synonyms: bitstock
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    type of:
    the handle end of some implements or tools
  7. verb
    support or hold steady and make steadfast, with or as if with a brace
    brace your elbows while working on the potter's wheel”
    synonyms: stabilise, stabilize, steady
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    make steady with a ballast
    steady or support with a guy wire or cable
    type of:
    beef up, fortify, strengthen
    make strong or stronger
  8. verb
    support by bracing
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    brace (an archer's bow) by pressing the foot against the center
    type of:
    hold, hold up, support, sustain
    be the physical support of; carry the weight of
  9. verb
    prepare (oneself) for something unpleasant or difficult
    synonyms: poise
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    nerve, steel
    get ready for something difficult or unpleasant
    type of:
    fix, gear up, prepare, ready, set, set up
    make ready or suitable or equip in advance for a particular purpose or for some use, event, etc
  10. verb
    cause to be alert and energetic
    synonyms: arouse, energise, energize, perk up, stimulate
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    calm, sedate, tranquilize, tranquillise, tranquillize
    cause to be calm or quiet as by administering a sedative to
    de-energise, de-energize
    deprive of energy
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    inject with libidinal energy
    animate, quicken, reanimate, recreate, renovate, repair, revive, revivify, vivify
    give new life or energy to
    invigorate, reinvigorate
    impart vigor, strength, or vitality to
    animate, enliven, invigorate, liven, liven up
    make lively
    ginger up, jazz up, juice up, pep up
    make more interesting or lively
    inspirit, spirit, spirit up
    infuse with spirit
    type of:
    act physically on; have an effect upon
  11. noun
    a set of two similar things considered as a unit
    synonyms: pair
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    Tweedledee and Tweedledum, Tweedledum and Tweedledee
    any two people who are hard to tell apart
    type of:
    a group of things of the same kind that belong together and are so used
  12. noun
    two items of the same kind
    synonyms: couple, couplet, distich, duad, duet, duo, dyad, pair, span, twain, twosome, yoke
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    (bridge) a pair of playing cards that are the only cards in their suit in the hand dealt to a player
    type of:
    2, II, deuce, two
    the cardinal number that is the sum of one and one or a numeral representing this number
  13. noun
    either of two punctuation marks ({ or }) used to enclose textual material
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    type of:
    punctuation, punctuation mark
    the marks used to clarify meaning by indicating separation of words into sentences and clauses and phrases
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