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.

Primary Meanings of brace

a support that steadies or strengthens something else
support or hold steady and make steadfast, with or as if with a brace
a set of two similar things considered as a unit
either of two punctuation marks ({ or }) used to enclose textual material
Full Definitions of brace

n 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

n a structural member used to stiffen a framework

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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

n a rope on a square-rigged ship that is used to swing a yard about and secure it

royal brace
a brace to secure the royal mast
Type of:
a strong line

n elastic straps that hold trousers up (usually used in the plural)

gallus, suspender
Type of:
man's clothing
clothing that is designed for men to wear

n an appliance that corrects dental irregularities

braces, orthodontic braces
Type of:
dental appliance
a device to repair teeth or replace missing teeth

n a carpenter's tool having a crank handle for turning and a socket to hold a bit for boring

Type of:
the handle end of some implements or tools

v support or hold steady and make steadfast, with or as if with a brace

brace your elbows while working on the potter's wheel”
stabilise, stabilize, steady
make steady with a ballast
steady or support with a guy wire or cable
Type of:
beef up, fortify, strengthen
make strong or stronger

v support by bracing

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

v prepare (oneself) for something unpleasant or difficult

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

v cause to be alert and energetic

arouse, energise, energize, perk up, stimulate
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

n a set of two similar things considered as a unit

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

n two items of the same kind

couple, couplet, distich, duad, duet, duo, dyad, pair, span, twain, twosome, yoke
(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

n either of two punctuation marks ({ or }) used to enclose textual material

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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