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brooch

That fancy pin your Grandma used to wear on her blouse or lapel? It's a brooch, held in place by a sharp needle clasp.

Okay, it's a bit unfair to say Grandmothers alone wear brooches, but they do tend to be worn more by powerful older women — witness Margaret Thatcher and Madeleine Albright (both noted brooch wearers). Not surprisingly, brooch is derived from the old French word brooch, meaning "a long needle."

Definitions of brooch
  1. noun
    a decorative pin
    synonyms: breastpin, broach
    see moresee less
    types:
    sunburst
    a jeweled brooch with a pattern resembling the sun
    type of:
    pin
    a piece of jewelry that is pinned onto the wearer's garment
  2. verb
    fasten with or as if with a brooch
    synonyms: clasp
    see moresee less
    type of:
    fasten, fix, secure
    cause to be firmly attached
Commonly confused words

broach / brooch

To broach a subject is to bring it up. A brooch is a decorative pin. These words sound exactly the same! They rhyme with "coach." Both come from a word root meaning "something pointy," but the spelling brooch branched off as a word for the piece of jewelry.

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